Woodbridge, VA---The Washington Nationals have announced their non-roster Spring Training invitees, with camp set to open with pitchers and catchers due to report to the Washington facility in West Palm Beach, FL on Tuesday. Among the 24 players listed, seven have ties to the P-Nats, which includes three that played for Potomac in 2016.
The seven players with ties to the P-Nats invited to Major League Spring Training join Washington's 40-man roster, which includes three 2016 P-Nats in RHP Koda Glover, C Raudy Read, and 1B Jose Marmolejos, all three added to the 40-man roster this past offseason. Of the seven with ties to the P-Nats invited, just one, C Jhonatan Solano (08) was offered a new contract prior to the 2017 season. The other non-roster invitees are all on their original MiLB contracts. RHP Erick Fedde, 3B Drew Ward, and CF Andrew Stevenson played for Potomac in 2016 and will make their first appearance in Major League Spring Training. LHP Nick Lee and RHP Wander Suero played for the P-Nats in both 2014 and 2015, while RHP Taylor Hill played for The Red, White, & Blue in 2012 and 2013.
The 31-year-old Solano is back in the system for the second straight season. Signed out of Venezuela in 2005, Solano played in the Nationals' system from 2006 to 2014 and then played for the Miami Marlins in 2015. Solano hit .258 with four home runs and 24 RBIs in 68 games for Potomac in 2008.
Fedde, ranked as the top pitching prospect in the system and a consensus top 100 prospect in all of baseball, dazzled for Potomac in 2016. The righty went 6-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 18 games. Over his final 11 appearances for the P-Nats, Fedde went 4-1 with a 0.62 ERA over 57.2 innings. Fedde enters 2017 as the #2 prospect in the Nationals' system according to Baseball America.
In his second stint with Potomac, Ward made major strides both on offense and defensively at third base in 2016. An All-Star for the Carolina League in 2016, the third baseman hit .278 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 64 games for Potomac before a call up to Double-A Harrisburg. Ward increased his batting average by 29 points, his on-base percentage by 50 points, and his slugging percentage by 133 points from 2015 to 2016 with the P-Nats.
Stevenson, the All-Star Game MVP for the Carolina League in 2016, has rapidly risen up the prospect charts since the Nationals selected him in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft. The LSU Tiger hit .304 with 21 extra-base hits and a .359 OBP in 68 games for Potomac. An All-Star starter, Stevenson earned a promotion to Harrisburg for his final 65 games of 2016. Baseball America recently ranked Stevenson as the fifth best prospect in the Nationals' system.
The 26-year-old Lee will take part in Major League Spring Training for the second consecutive year. In a career-high 45 games for Harrisburg in 2016, Lee went 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA. Lee made four starts for Potomac in 2014 and 20 appearances out of the bullpen for the P-Nats in 2015. With Potomac in 2015, the lefty had a career best 2.57 ERA and struck out 28 batters in 28.0 innings.
Like Lee, Suero took major strides with Potomac from 2014 to 2015. Also set for his second Major League Spring Training, Suero spent his offseason in the Dominican Winter League, where he went 2-0 and did not give up an earned run in 14.1 innings. Suero had a 7.57 ERA in 12 relief outings with Potomac in 2014 but rebounded with a great 2015. In his second stint with the P-Nats, the righty went 6-2 with a 2.41 ERA in 16 games.
Hill is set for his third Major League Spring Training. The 27-year-old pitched for Washington in both 2014 and 2015. The righty then spent all of 2016 with Triple-A Syracuse. Hill made three starts for Potomac in 2012 and then 14 in 2013 for the P-Nats. In 2013, the righty went 6-2 with a 2.99 ERA and two complete games for Potomac.
Pitchers and catchers are set to report to the Nationals' Spring Training facility on Tuesday, February 14th, while position players will report on Friday, February 17th. The first full-squad workout in West Palm Beach, FL is scheduled for Sunday, February 19th.
The 2017 Potomac Nationals season gets underway at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, DE on Thursday, April 6th, as the P-Nats visit the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City), while Potomac is set for the home opener at Pfitzner Stadium one week later, Thursday, April 13th, also against the Blue Rocks.
P-Nats' 2017 ticket plans are currently on sale. For more information or to purchase any of these plans, contact Potomac Nationals Director of Ticket Operations, Chris Bentivegna, by phone at 703-590-2311, ext. 225, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to book a group outing for the 2017 P-Nats season, contact Potomac Nationals Group Sales Executive, Alec Manriquez, at 703-590-2311, ext. 221, or at email@example.com.
Corporate partnership opportunities are also currently available for the 2017 season and beyond. Inquire about corporate partnerships by calling 703-590-2311 ext. 213.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and nine CL Northern Division Championships. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 season and beyond are available, as well as corporate outings for the 2017 season to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2017 season tickets, mini plans, group outings, and picnic packages, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals Ticket office at 703-590-2311.
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