Woodbridge, VA-A trio of both past and present Potomac Nationals will represent the Washington Nationals in the Arizona Fall League come October. Current members of the P-Nats who will play for the Mesa Solar Sox this offseason include RHP Austen Williams , C Taylor Gushue , and 3B Kelvin Gutierrez . Three other players who played for Potomac in 2017 will also play for the Solar Sox, as RHP Dakota Bacus , RHP Kyle McGowin , and CF Victor Robles will participate in the six-team league.
Williams, who is in the midst of his third season with the P-Nats, will make his first appearance in the Arizona Fall League. The 24-year-old has split the 2017 season between Double-A Harrisburg and the P-Nats. With Potomac through his first eight starts of the season, the righty is 2-4 with a 4.24 ERA. Williams has tallied 40 strikeouts in 40.1 innings for the P-Nats this year.
One of four Potomac players selected for the Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star team, Gushue tore up Carolina League pitching in his first season in the Nationals' system. In his first 28 games of the season, the catcher launched 12 home runs and drove in 36. Though the offensive pace has slowed in the back half of the season, Gushue enters the final week of the 2017 regular season campaign second in the league with 18 home runs and tied for third on the circuit with 67 RBIs. Gushue is currently the 23rd ranked prospect in the Washington system according to MLB Pipeline.
Like Gushue, Gutierrez earned a nod for the Northern Division All-Star team, but an injury just prior to the All-Star festivities took the third baseman out of action until late August, when he began playing for the Gulf Coast League Nationals. In 58 games for Potomac, Gutierrez hit .288 with two home runs and 16 RBIs, while he provided elite level defense for the P-Nats at third base. The 23-year-old is ranked as the 12th best prospect for Washington and the second best third baseman in the system according to MLB Pipeline.
Bacus pitched with Potomac in two different periods during the 2017 season, the fourth stint he has had with The Red, White & Blue in his career. In 12 relief outings with the P-Nats this year, Bacus went 1-0 with a 1.27 ERA. The righty struck out 16 and walked just three in 21.1 innings. Bacus is currently with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, a level he has reached in three straight seasons. In 2017 with Harrisburg, Bacus has gone 1-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 relief outings.
McGowin, acquired in a trade between the Nationals and Los Angeles Angels in 2016, pitched just twice for Potomac in 2017 before a promotion back to Harrisburg. In his two starts with the P-Nats, the righty allowed just two runs in 10 innings. McGowin has made seven starts for the Senators, while the right-handed starter has also made nine starts for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs in 2017.
Arguably the most touted prospect heading to the Arizona Fall League, the 20-year-old Robles will aim to continue to play well above his age and succeed against players multiple years his elder. After an injury riddled 41 games with Potomac in 2016, Robles spent more than half of the 2017 season with the P-Nats. A tremendous defender, Robles' hit tool developed throughout the 2017 campaign. In 77 games for Potomac, the centerfielder hit seven home runs, drove in 33, and totaled 39 extra-base hits. A .289 batting average and .377 on-base percentage earned the young outfielder his first call up to the Double-A level. In 32 games thus far for Harrisburg, Robles has hit .323 with an OBP of .396. The outfielder has tallied 14 extra-base hits in just 32 games for the Senators. Robles is the top ranked prospect that is scheduled to partake in the six-week league, with three of the four prospects ahead of him already playing at the MLB level.
The 2017 Arizona Fall League is set to get underway on Tuesday, October 10th and will run through the championship game, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 18th.
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. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats' 2017 season and beyond are available, as well as all-inclusive corporate outings to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2017 single game tickets, season tickets, mini plans, group outings, and picnic packages, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals' Extreme Custom Collision Ticket Office at 703-590-2311.
-- Potomac Nationals --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.