Woodbridge, VA---The Washington Nationals have released the 25-man Opening Day Roster for their Carolina League affiliate Potomac Nationals, the defending Carolina League Northern Division Champions.The 2019 P-Nats' Roster to begin the 42nd year of Potomac Baseball features five players among Baseball America's Washington Nationals Top 30 Prospects, and 16 players
Woodbridge, VA---The Washington Nationals have released the 25-man Opening Day Roster for their Carolina League affiliate Potomac Nationals, the defending Carolina League Northern Division Champions.
The 2019 P-Nats' Roster to begin the 42nd year of Potomac Baseball features five players among Baseball America's Washington Nationals Top 30 Prospects, and 16 players who have previously donned The Red, White, & Blue.
Tripp Keister returns for his sixth season at the helm. The manager of the P-Nats for the 2014 League Championship led the club to a Northern Division Championship in 2018, the franchise's 10th in history. Potomac finished atop the Northern Division in the regular season with a 74-62 record and battled to win the fifth game over the Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland Indians) in the Northern Division Championship Series. Keister, who set the franchise's all-time win mark (353) during the 2018 season, guided the club to the Mills Cup Championship Series, which was shorted to a one-game, winner-take-all matchup, with the Buies Creek Astros (Houston Astros). The Astros picked up a walk-off win on their home turf and closed out their two-year stint in Buies Creek with a title.
The top ranked prospect on Potomac's Opening Day Roster is OF Telmito Agustin. The returning outfielder is #14 in the Nationals' season according to Baseball America, and #11 according to MLB Pipeline. Back for his third stint with Potomac, Agustin got off to a tremendous start in 2018, as he hit .386 with an OPS over 1.000 through early May, but injuries riddled the rest of his season, as he appeared in just 63 games. The 22-year-old ended up with five home runs and 30 RBIs for Potomac in 2018.
LHP Nick Raquet (#19) is the first of four top-30 prospects on the Potomac pitching staff. The 23-year-old put together a 5-3 record in 12 starts for The Red, White, & Blue in 2018, and spun a one-hit shutout towards the end of Potomac's 2018 season. The 23-year-old was a third-round draft pick out of William & Mary in 2017.
RHP Jackson Tetreault (#21) made four starts for Potomac late in the 2018 season, his second campaign in the Nationals' system. The 22-year-old earned the win in Potomac's Northern Division Championship Series clinching win over Lynchburg, as he allowed just one run over five innings.
RHP Kyle Johnston (#22) spent most of the second half of the 2018 season with Potomac, as he accumulated five wins over nine starts. A sixth-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Johnston features an above average fastball and cutter. Opponents hit just .238 against Johnston over 47.1 innings in Carolina League play last year.
RHP Malvin Pena (#28) has been in the Nationals' system since 2014 but has had nearly three full seasons wiped out due to injury. Ranked as high as #14 in the system according the MLB Pipeline, Pena lost his 2015 season and all but two starts in 2016 due to Tommy John surgery and had his 2018 campaign ended in August due to an oblique injury. When healthy last season, Pena posted a 3.60 ERA in 30 innings over six starts for the Hagerstown Suns. A mid-90's fastball propelled him to nearly a 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio with Hagerstown.
Along with four top-30 pitching prospects on the staff, the P-Nats are set to welcome back seven other pitchers for Opening Day, while only two new hurlers. RHP Carlos Acevedo, RHP A.J. Bogucki, LHP Grant Borne, RHP Steven Fuentes, LHP Hayden Howard, RHP Jeremy McKinney, and RHP Luis Reyes are all back for Potomac to start the 2019 season. The two additional new arms are RHP Frankie Bartow and RHP Andrew Lee.
RHP Carlos Acevedo made his P-Nats debut in July of 2018 after he earned a mid-season promotion from Hagerstown. In 13 appearances with Potomac, Acevedo posted a 3.62 ERA. The 24-year-old right-handed reliever joined the Nationals' system in late 2013.
RHP A.J. Bogucki worked out of the bullpen for Potomac down the stretch in 2018. The 24-year-old went 3-2 with a 1.46 ERA in 16 appearances for the P-Nats last season. An eighth-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of North Carolina, Bogucki allowed just one home run in 31.2 innings for The Red, White, & Blue last season.
LHP Grant Borne returns to Potomac after he missed the entire 2018 season due to injury. A significant part of the 2017 P-Nats' rotation, Borne posted a 2.50 ERA in 72 innings of Carolina League play. The 24-year-old out of Nicholls State held opponents to just a .222 batting average in his first taste of action above A-Ball.
RHP Steven Fuentes pitched for Potomac briefly in 2017 but spent nearly all of 2018 with the P-Nats. The 21-year-old went three for three in save opportunities in 2018 with Potomac, as he went 3-3 with a 3.00 ERA. Over five years in Washington's system, the righty has pitched in more than 100 games and notched more than 250 strikeouts.
LHP Hayden Howard spent all of 2018 in the Potomac bullpen, and looks to repeat his success during the 2019 campaign. A 12th round selection out of Texas Tech in the 2016 MLB Draft, Howard put together a 2.87 ERA over 35 relief outings. At nearly a strikeout per inning (61/62.2), the experienced lefty has an opportunity to quickly earn his first opportunity with Double-A Harrisburg.
RHP Jeremy McKinney was arguably Potomac's most dominant right-handed relief pitcher in 2018. After nine appearances of one-run baseball for Hagerstown, the 24-year-old earned a promotion to Potomac, where he converted four of five save opportunities. Over 33.1 innings, McKinney put together a 1.89 ERA and allowed just 22 hits. Drafted out of Indiana State University, the 31st round draft pick could find his way to Double-A before his 25th birthday.
RHP Luis Reyes spent the majority of his 2018 season in Double A, where he struggled early on, but together a solid stretch of pitching after he returned from an injury. A member of the 2016 and 2017 Potomac Nationals' squads, the righty out of the Dominican Republic is still just 24 years old. In a full 2017 season with Potomac, Reyes made 26 starts and struck out nearly a batter per frame (133/143.1).
RHP Frankie Bartow pitched out of the Hagerstown bullpen in his first professional season. Drafted out of the University of Miami in the 11th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, Bartow made 15 relief appearances for the Suns in his shortened pro debut. The right-handed reliever was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and ACC All-Freshman Team member in 2016 for the Hurricanes.
RHP Andrew Lee is set to make his debut above A-ball in 2019. An 11th round pick out of the University of Tennessee in the 2015 MLB Draft, Lee split time between the rotation and bullpen for the Suns in 2018. In 20 appearances, 10 starts, for Hagerstown, Lee held opponents to a .166 batting average and struck out 86 in just 67.1 innings. A starter in 2016 for the Suns, the righty could see time in both the rotation and bullpen for Potomac in 2019.
To go along with an experienced pitching staff, Potomac will see the return of C Jakson Reetz in 2019. C Alex Dunlap will join Reetz as the catching tandem for the P-Nats.
C Jakson Reetz earned some playing time with Potomac in 2017, as he appeared in 26 games for the P-Nats. In 2018, he caught just under half the games for The Red, White, & Blue. A third-round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft, tied for the earliest round pick on the team, Reetz hit five home runs and drove in 27 over 69 games in 2018. Likely to expand and be the majority starter behind the plate, Reetz should make for a good backstop for an extremely experienced starting pitching rotation.
C Alex Dunlap spent most of 2018 with the Hagerstown Suns, but also caught a few games with Triple-A Syracuse. In 35 games for Hagerstown, Dunlap hit .277 with five home runs. A 29th round selection out of Stanford in the 2017 MLB Draft, the Texas native is the only player on Potomac's Opening Day Roster that has appeared in Triple-A.
The 2019 infield for Potomac is set to feature a mixture of old names and fresh faces for fans. SS Osvaldo Abreu, 1B Aldrem Corredor, and SS David Masters are all set to wear The Red, White, & Blue once again, while 1B Anderson Franco, 2B Cole Freeman, and 3B Omar Meregildo will each make their Potomac debut.
SS Osvaldo Abreu spent all of 2016 with Potomac, where he tallied 33 extra base hits in 126 games. Recently resigned by Washington as a Minor League Free Agent, the 24-year-old has spent each of the last two years with Double-A Harrisburg. Abreu tallied a career high eight home runs for the Senators in 2018 and appeared in 234 games at the Double-A level over the past two seasons.
1B Aldrem Corredor earned a June callup last year from Hagerstown to Potomac, where he posted even better numbers in the Carolina League than he did for the Suns. In 59 games for the P-Nats, the 23-year-old hit .311 with five home runs and 37 RBIs, each better than the respective number with Hagerstown. Corredor notched at least one hit in each of the five games of the 2018 Northern Division Championship Series against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland Indians).
SS David Masters first played for Potomac (18 games) in 2015 and has spent the entirety of each of the last three years for The Red, White, & Blue. Masters is 11th in franchise history in games played (275), 19th in runs scored (119), and 14th in walks (111). A member of two different Potomac playoff teams, Masters is the most seasoned player on Potomac's Opening Day roster.
1B Anderson Franco battled injuries throughout his 2018 campaign. The corner infielder appeared in just 63 games with the Hagerstown Suns. Of his 54 hits with the Suns, 17 went for extra bases. The 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic joined the Nationals' system as an International Free Agent in 2013.
2B Cole Freeman joins Potomac as the earliest round draft infielder on the team. A fourth-round selection out of LSU in the 2017 MLB Draft, Freeman played in 122 games for the Suns last season. The former Tiger stole 26 bases and scored 78 runs as the near every day starter for Hagerstown in 2018.
3B Omar Meregildo signed with Washington in 2014 as an International Free Agent and has ascended a full level in each year since. In 65 games with Hagerstown in 2018, the third baseman tallied seven home runs and drove in 34. His .268 batting average was the highest of any of his first four professional seasons. The 21-year-old should garner fairly consistent starts around the infield for Potomac in 2019.
Of the four outfielders on Potomac's 2019 Opening Day Roster, three return from the 2018 club. In addition to Agustin, OF Nick Banks and OF Jack Sundberg return, while OF Armond Upshaw is set for his Potomac debut.
OF Nick Banks split time between Hagerstown and Potomac, as he earned a June callup from the Suns. A fourth-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Texas A&M, Banks hit .263 with four home runs and 30 RBIs in 64 games for Potomac. Banks started all six playoff games for the P-Nats in 2018 and recorded multiple hits in each of the first three games of the Northern Division Championship Series.
CF Jack Sundberg has played 209 games for Potomac over the last two seasons. The 2016 draft pick out of the University of Connecticut his .261 with 84 hits in 99 games in 2018 for the P-Nats. The 25-year-old stole 24 bases for Potomac in 2017, easily his career high.
CF Armond Upshaw has jumped a full level in the Nationals' system each year since Washington selected him in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. The centerfielder played in 113 games for Hagerstown in 2018, where he stole 24 bases in 33 tries. The 22-year-old's 113 games last year were more than his first two professional seasons combined (73). The lone newcomer to the Potomac outfield, Upshaw should get most of the starts for The Red, White, & Blue.
Sam Narron and Luis Ordaz will once again serve on Tripp Keister's coaching staff for The Red, White, & Blue.
Narron begins his second season with Potomac in 2019 after he spent three seasons with the Hagerstown Suns. The 37-year old spent 2012 and 2013 with the Auburn Doubledays. Narron's pitching staff surrendered the fewest walks in the South Atlantic League in 2017. A former pitcher himself, Narron made one Major League appearance with the Texas Rangers in 2004.
Ordaz begins his fourth season with Potomac and ninth within the Nationals' system. The former infielder appeared in 206 MLB games with St. Louis, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay. Ordaz led the P-Nats to a team batting average of .271 in 2018. The 43-year old worked with the Auburn Doubledays from 2011 to 2013 and spent 2014 and 2015 with the Hagerstown Suns.
In 2019, the Potomac Nationals covet their sixth Mills Cup Championship in the franchise's 42nd season.
For more information on 2019 Potomac Nationals single game tickets or ticket plans, please contact Director of Season Ticket and Group Ticket Sales, Alec Manriquez, by phone at 703-590-2311, ext. 221, or via e-mail at [email protected]. Fans with questions may also contact Potomac Nationals' Ticket Operations Manager, Matt LeBlanc, by phone at 703-590-2311, ext. 225, or via e-mail at [email protected].
The 2019 Potomac Nationals' season gets underway on April 4th at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Houston Astros). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Northwest Federal Field 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 10 CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats' 2019 season and beyond are available, as well as all-inclusive corporate picnic outings to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. 2019 Potomac Nationals season tickets are now on sale, while mini plans will be available soon. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2019 season tickets, mini plans, group outings, picnic packages, fundraisers, and all things Red, White, and Blue, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com, follow the P-Nats on Facebook (@PotomacNationals), Twitter (@PNats42), and Instagram (@pnats42), or call the Potomac Nationals' Extreme Custom Collision Ticket Office at 703-590-2311.
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