FREDERICKSBURG, VA – Joel Hanrahan recorded 14 saves whereas pitching for the Nationals from 2007-09.
Now a first-year pitching coach in participant growth with Washington, the native of Iowa has a key position in guiding the following wave of pitchers to the majors.
Hanrahan, 40, would be the pitching coach this yr for low Single-A Fredericksburg, and he informed Federal Baseball right here on Tuesday that Rodney Theophile would be the beginning pitcher within the opener.
Theophile was 4-11 with an ERA of 5.56 in 22 begins for Fredericksburg final season.
These Nationals begin the season Friday on the Delmarva Shorebirds, a farm crew of the Baltimore Orioles situated in Salisbury, Maryland.
Different beginning pitchers for the weekend sequence on the Jap Shore, in keeping with Hanrahan, will probably be Dustin Saenz in Sport 2 Saturday and Andry Lara in Sport 3 on Sunday.
Lara made two begins final season for Fredericksburg whereas Saenz was taken within the fourth spherical out of Texas A & M final yr.
“There may be a variety of large, bodily arms” within the system, Hanrahan stated after a lightweight exercise for pitchers. Hanrahan was previously a minor league pitching coach within the Pittsburgh system.
The highest prospect with Fredericksburg is infielder Brady Home, drafted within the first spherical by the Nationals final yr out of a Georgia highschool.
“The one option to describe it was studying,” Home stated of Spring Coaching. He arrived in Virginia earlier this week, together with most of his new teammates.
Home stated he was capable of meet Carter Kieboom, one other excessive decide from a Georgia highschool.
Kieboom was a first-round choice in 2016 by Washington and broke into the majors in 2019. He got here up as a shortstop however has since been switched to 3rd base.
Home performed shortstop in his professional debut however stated Tuesday he’ll play wherever he’s wanted.
The supervisor for the Virginia crew is Jake Lowery, who completed his enjoying profession at Double-A Harrisburg in 2019.
He was the skipper in Florida with the Gulf Coast Advanced. A former catcher at JMU in Harrisonburg, Lowery was drafted within the fourth spherical by Cleveland in 2011 and went as excessive as Triple-A in Washington’s system.
Fredericksburg started final yr 0-15; Lowery stated there’s a new concentrate on profitable on the minor-league league whereas nonetheless concentrating on participant growth.
Lowery went to Cosby Excessive close to Richmond and lives close to the capital metropolis within the low season.
He figures to see household and pals throughout residence video games and in addition on the street in Salem, Lynchburg and even a few of the stops in North Carolina.
“It is vitally particular,” Lowery stated of managing near residence. “I’m glad to be again in Virginia.”
Home hit .322 for Lowery final yr in Florida with a .970 OPS in 59 at-bats.
Among the many Fredericksburg pitchers is Brendan Collins, who went to Sherwood Excessive Faculty in Montgomery County, Maryland, and grew up rooting for the Nationals.
“Pure shock,” he stated of being drafted by Washington. He was taken within the 17th spherical in 2021 out of school at UNC Greensboro.
Collins, who spent a part of final season at Fredericksburg, is happy to be a part of the rebuilding of the farm system – which was sped up by a number of late July trades for prospects.
“All the spots are opening up” so as to advance up the ladder, he famous.