Nationals promote Danny Espinosa to Syracuse
The Nationals promoted infielder Danny Espinosa from Class AA Harrisburg to Class AAA Syracuse, sending one of their most promising prospects one level from the majors and, perhaps, setting him up for a September call-up.
"He's earned the opportunity," Nationals director of player development Doug Harris said. "This is an opportunity for us to expose him to a higher level. We felt he deserved it."
After struggling through an injury early in the season, Espinosa has been an offensive force. Since July, Espinosa has hit .288 with a .488 slugging percentage. For the season, he ranks fifth in the Eastern League with 18 home runs and eighth with 20 stolen bases. Earlier this week, he hit three home runs in one game, including a game-winner in the 10th inning.
Espinosa, the Nationals' third-round draft choice in 2008, could be on a progression similar to the path Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond took last season. Desmond began the year in Class AA, moved to Class AAA and eventually came up to the Nationals in September. He built on the late-season cameo this spring and claimed the starting role in Washington.
It's worth pointing out that the Nationals are unsettled for 2011 at second base, but penciling in Espinosa would be getting too far ahead of things. The Nationals have yet to decide even if they'll promote Espinosa in September.
"We really haven't gotten that far," Harris said. "Certainly, this puts him one step away from the majors. But at this point we aren't building it in that direction."
Espinosa's success this year owes to the "tremendous adjustments" he's made with the assistance of Harrisburg hitting coach Troy Gingrich, Harris said. Espinosa made a slight change with where he held his hands in his stance, which improved how well he could cover the entire plate, particularly from the left side. (Espinosa is a switch-hitter.)
"His attention to detail is fantastic," Harris said. "He's really taken off."
With Espinosa gone from Class AA, Ryan Tatusko will make his Harrisburg debut. Tatusko, one of the right-handed starters the Nationals acquired from the Rangers in the Cristian Guzman trade, went 9-2 with a 2.97 ERA, 58 strikeouts and 40 walks in 100 innings for Class AA Frisco.
August 6, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
Categories: middle infield , minors & farm system | Tags: Danny Espinoza
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