Eight top Washington Nationals prospects will head to the Arizona Fall League this October and November, headlined by outfielder Brian Goodwin, infielder Matt Skole and left-handers Sammy Solis and Matt Purke.
They’ll be joined by catcher Adrian Nieto, outfielder Steve Souza and right-handed pitchers Robert Benincasa and Richie Mirowski on the Mesa Solar Sox. Triple-A Syracuse hitting coach Troy Gingrich will also serve on the staff of the Solar Sox in the same capacity.
It is an interesting group headed to the top prospect league with Goodwin, Skole, Solis and Purke all making return appearances.
Skole is particularly interesting given that he is coming off April Tommy John surgery in his non-throwing elbow, as well as surgery for a wrist fracture in the same arm. Both injuries were suffered on the same play in the second game of the season for the well-thought-of first baseman/third baseman.
Solis, who had Tommy John surgery in March of 2012, and Purke, who underwent surgery to remove some of the bursa sacs in his shoulder at the end of the 2012 season, are both returning after dealing with injuries. They were both in the AFL in 2011, before getting hurt.
In his first season back from the surgery, Solis has pitched very well for Single-A Potomac, starting 11 games and posting a 2.72 ERA in 53 innings. Purke began the season in Hagerstown and was promoted to Potomac mid-way through the season. Across both leagues, in 17 starts, Purke has a 4.02 ERA.
Goodwin, one of the top outfield prospects in the Nationals’ system and a former first-round pick, has hit .251 with a .350 on-base percentage in his second season in Double-A Harrisburg. Nieto (Single-A Potomac) and Souza (Double-A Harrisburg) are also having strong years.
Benincasa and Mirowski have pitched very well in Single-A this season.