Ian Desmond trying to find stride at bat, in field
A trip around the Nationals minor league looks at one surprise performance and a couple of prospects acting like, well, prospects. (A free preview of premium content.)
In New Orleans, outfielder Brandon Watson as stepped up his production after stepping up from Harrisburg, owning an 11-game hitting streak. On May 16 in this space you read:
Brandon Watson received a promotion by necessity in the wake of the Endy Chavez trade. The outfielder, batting .247 with just one extra base hit, a double, in 146 at bats, was sent up from AA Harrisburg to New Orleans to take Chavez’ spot on the roster.
In his first 11 games, the 24-year-old Watson is looking like he belonged in AAA all along. He has 18 hits in 45 at-bats for a cool .400 batting average. With three doubles and a triple, his OPS is .962.
The Zephyrs’ roster is short an outfielder in the wake of Tyrell Godwin’s callup to the Nationals on Thursday. It is likely to remain that way over the weekend as it is widely expected that Godwin will be sent back down to New Orleans on Tuesday, when pitcher John Patterson should be activated to start against the Atlanta Braves.
Darrell Rasner, considered by some to be one of the top pitching prospects at Harrisburg, was roughed up last night, allowing four runs in the second inning in the Senators’ 7-5 loss to Erie. That left his record at 2-5 and fluffed up his ERA to 4.86. Still, Terry Byrom, who does the play by play for the Senators’ radio broadcasts, thinks that there’s plenty to like about Rasner:
He's much better than his numbers appear so far this year. He started strong, and is struggling a little right now. But remember, a lot of that could be what they would be working on with him. And this is really the first level the pitchers are learning to pitch. The hitters at AA are much better than in the leagues below. Rasner had a stretch of 16.1 innings of scoreless baseball earlier this year. He seems to have a great attitude and is definitely a competitor.
Wil Cordero is in Harrisburg this weekend to continue his rehab after having been on the DL since April 8 with a knee sprain. On Friday he went two for four with a double and a strikeout.
Ian Desmond, the 19 year old shortstop who impressed many with his performance in spring training, is struggling in the field for A Savannah. He has 14 errors in 43 games. Desmond’s patience at the plate needs some work as well as he has 11 walks and 32 strikeouts.