Tag Archives: Washington Nationals

Interview With Washington Nationals 2011 First Round Pick Pitcher Alex Meyer

By: Andrew Martin

Lately the Washington Nationals have not just been accumulating prospects, they have been stacking them up like cord wood. In the past couple of years they have picked up well known mega prospects in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, but they may have gotten their best haul from the 2011 draft, which brought a blend of well regarded hitters and pitchers. Alex Meyer is one of the most highly regarded prospects snatched up by Washington this draft’s haul. Taken with the 23rd pick in the first round, the 6’9 right handed pitcher projects to one day help anchor the top of the Washington starting rotation with Strasburg.

Meyer was originally drafted out of high school by the Boston Red Sox in 2008, but opted to attend the University of Kentucky instead. He was successful throughout his Kentucky Wildcats career. In 2011, his junior year, Meyer went 7-5 with a 2.94 ERA, and an SEC leading 110 strikeouts. Armed with a mid-to-upper 90’s fastball, and a slider and change-up that scouts believe will both be plus pitches, Meyer has the stuff to be a front of the rotation type starter. I recently caught up with Meyer and was able to find out a little more about him and his experiences in baseball. Take a moment to get to know one of baseball’s next top prospects.

How did you first get interested in baseball?
I first got interested in baseball at a very young age. My dad is a big baseball fan and so is my mom. When I was growing up, there was always baseball on at my house. Whether it was the Cubs always being on WGN or if I had to watch the Braves every night on TBS, there was always baseball on TV. I honestly don’t think I went a day, even being as young as 5-6 years old, to where I didn’t watch a baseball game or at least ESPN highlights. I really think this was a big influence on my life.

Who was your favorite team and player when you were growing up?
Growing up, my favorite team was the Seattle Mariners until Ken Griffey Jr. got traded. Then, I started to like the Boston Red Sox. My favorite player was Griffey Jr. without a doubt. I feel like he was everyone’s favorite player at that time. He was fun to watch because he was everything that every young kid wanted to be. He played the game the right way and he had fun doing it.

What was the draft process like this year? How did you know that Washington was interested in you?
The draft process was a lot of fun. I feel like if you don’t just sit back and enjoy it then it can really be overwhelming for people. I had fun with it and my parents were really good about it too. They were always there supporting me telling me that it was my decision on what to do. I knew the Nationals were interested in me, but didn’t know how interested they were until I heard my name selected on TV that night. They did a good job of not “bothering” me with phone calls during the season and just let me play. They did things the right way.

What is it like to be part of the “super prospect group” for Washington, with you, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Matt Purke, etc…?
The group of players that Washington has drafted over the past few years is incredible. To be included with a group of players mentioned above is really humbling for me. It’s an honor to get to play pro ball, but to be able to play with such a good group of guys committed to getting better makes it that much more fun. I’m really excited to get back for the Spring and really get to work again.

What is the best piece of advice or instruction you have gotten as a baseball player?
The best piece of advice that I have gotten in baseball has been this and I believe it to a tee; Baseball is a game of failure. There is so much failure that if you aren’t careful, it can really bring you down. You have to stay positive through the good times and bad. In baseball, a guy can fail 7 times out of 10 and be considered one of the greatest hitters in the game (.300 batting average). Baseball is all about staying calm and positive and the ability to play through the tough times.

What has your experience been like with fans?
It’s been fun. While I was at Auburn (Washington’s Short-A New York Penn League Affiliate) for a short period of time, the fans there were awesome. They were excited for the organization. I didn’t necessarily know what to expect when I got there, but the fans there made us feel welcome and made the experience a fun time.

Opening Day In Venezuela Through The Eyes Of Washington Nationals Prospect Ryan Tatusko

Washington Nationals pitching prospect Ryan Tatusko is one of many U.S. players playing winter ball in Venezuela. He is currently pitching for the Bravos de Margarita one of eight teams in the league. Tatusko is blogging about his experience in Venezuela on his blog The Backfield Diaries and has just written his first entry about his winter league experience. From touching down in Caracas to stepping on the field for the first time in Margarita, to the to becoming a mini celebrity just for being a ballplayer, Tatusko shares a first hand look at the passion that exists everywhere in the Caribbean when it comes to baseball. In addition to his blog entry, Tatusko shares this video which he took from the dugout using his flip cam on opening day in Caracas. A full blown dance party breaks out before the game complete with on field pyrotechnics at the end. It’s pretty awesome and a must watch video. You can follow Tatusko on twitter @RyanTatusko

Ivan Rodriguez Enjoys Watching His Son Dereck Embark On His Professional Career With The Twins

Washington Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez is not the only pro baseball player in the family. His son Dereck, who was a 6th round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2011 draft is beginning his career, and proud papa Pudge is getting a chance to watch him play this offseason. Ivan has been a regular spectator this past week at the Twins instructional league games watching his son, an outfielder, play. In the story link below, both Ivan and Dereck talk about the support each has provided as their respective baseball careers have progressed, and looking forward to the opportunity to play winter ball together as teammates for the first time. It’s a good read.

All-Star ready for son to shine — News-Press.com

Nationals Prospect Ryan Tatusko Is A Pitcher, A Blogger, & A Man Of The People

Our friend Meredith Matthews, a must follow on twitter @MLMLB, wrote a nice piece on Nationals pitching prospect Ryan Tatusko. The Indiana State grad, who finished the season with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, is one of the best baseball playing bloggers you can find on the internet. His blog The Backfield Diaries is an outstanding read and he is very active on twitter @RyanTatusko as well. In Matthews story on TheGoodInSports.com, Tatusko talks about his enjoyment using his role as a baseball player to impact the community. He talks about visits a children’s hospital, meeting veterans at a VA hospital, and spending a day with soldiers at Fort Drum. Check it out via the story link below.

Minor Leaguer Tatusko Making a Major Difference — TheGoodInSports.com

Father Of Athletics Pitching Prospect Brad Peacock Has Spent The Past Four Summers Living In A 6×12 Lawnmower Trailer

Rather than spending lots of money at hotels, or imposing upon his son, Jerry Peacock, the father of Oakland Athletics rookie pitcher Brad Peacock instead converted a landscape trailer into a second home. The elder Peacock traveled across the country to Brad’s minor league games and spent the nights in the trailer which was hitched to the back of his van. The 6×12 trailer that once hauled lawnmowers and weed whackers contains a bed, a tv, and even a portable bathroom. In the story link below, which also includes a picture of the unit, Jerry Peacock talks about following his son on the road and living in the trailer, how strange it is to stay in a hotel now that Brad is in the majors, and how the younger Peacock has yet to spend a night in the contraption.

Wellington man used no-frills style to follow son Brad Peacock — now a big-leaguer — through minors — PalmBeachPost.com

Nationals Farmhand Adam Fox Makes Deer Hunting Videos

Once the minor league baseball season ends, Washington Nationals farmhand Adam Fox jumps into his second passion, Deer Hunting, as part of a video series for MidwestWhiteTail.com. Fox, who was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers out of the University of Ohio in 2003, batted a combined .210 between the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs this season. Our friend Jason Bristol, a must follow on twitter @JasonBristol brings us this piece on Fox’s hunting exploits.

Blue Jays Prospect Anthony Gose Thinks Some Players May Be Jealous Of Bryce Harper

The Bryce Harper show rolled into Notheast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester New Hampshire this past weekend as the Harrisburg Senators took on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The visit prompted the usual Bryce Harper was here story in the local newspaper which seems to be status quo on every Harrisburg road trip since the Washington Nationals prospect joined the club. What’s interesting about this one is Blue Jays prospect Anthony Gose chimes in with his thoughts on Harper and how he is viewed by other players in the Eastern League and suggests that many might be jealous of the attention Harper receives. Check out Gose’s quote in the story link below.

Harper’s in the house, not the lineup — UnionLeader.com

Washington Nationals Pitcher Stephen Strasburg Throws Five Perfect Innings In Syracuse Chiefs Rehab Start

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg threw five perfect innings for the Syracuse Chiefs against the Rochester Red Wings in his fifth rehab start before allowing back to back hits in the 6th. Strasburg retired the first 15 batters in a row, allowing no hits and striking out seven Rochester batters. He threw 58 pitches, 44 of them for strikes. He came back out in the sixth inning for seven more pitches as he worked towards a predetermined 65 pitch count and gave up a single to Aaron Bates to lead off the 6th breaking up the perfect game and no hitter bids. Strasburg then allowed a single to Steve Holm before departing in favor of reliever Craig Stammen. Stammen allowed an RBI single to Ray Chang which scored Bates before recording the final two outs of the inning. As a result Strasburg will get a no decision and have a final line of 5+IP, 1ER, 2H, 0BB, 7K. It is by far the best rehab start for the Washington Nationals pitcher as he returns from Tommy John surgery. He is slated to make one final rehab start before rejoining the Nationals in September.

Shairon Martis Throws Seven Inning No Hitter Friday For Double-A Harrisburg Senators

The Eastern League had a No Hitter on Friday night as former Washington Nationals pitcher Shairon Martis did not allow a hit and faced the minimum for the Harrisburg Senators in a 3-0 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in game one of a double header. Martis struck out nine and allowed a 3rd inning walk to Callix Crabbe who was subsequently retired on a double play. He improved to 8-5 with a 2.81ERA in 22 starts at Harrisburg this season. Martis has walked 38 while recording 143 strikeouts and opposing hitters are batting .240 against him. The native of Curacao has a career 6-6 record in the majors with appearances with the Nationals in 2008 and 2009.

Nationals Prospect Steve Lombardozzi Spends Time With Late Red Sox Prospect Dernell Stenson’s Son

Dernell Stenson, was a former Boston Red Sox prospect who made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds and was a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions when he was killed during the 2003 Arizona Fall League season after being carjacked. The following year the AFL established the Darnell Stenson Sportsmanship Award which it has handed out every year since being established in 2004. Last year’s recipient was Washington Nationals prospect Steve Lombardozzi. Last month Lombardozzi had his pregame preparation for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs interrupted by a man who introduced him to Stenson’s nine year old son. The meeting sparked a relationship between the two who will be forever tied by Stenson’s legacy. It’s an outstanding read.

In the name of the father: Syracuse Chief Steve Lombardozzi meets the son of the man whose name is on award that he won last fall — Syracuse.com