District Daily: Steven Souza Finishes Jagged Big League Ascent, Michael Taylor Stars in Triple-A Debut


Mar 16, 2014; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop

Steven Souza

(21) high-fives teammates after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Checkout some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web in today’s District Daily!

Steven Souza Finishes Jagged Big League Ascent

(Jason Mast, Grading on the Curve)

Three years ago, in the fall of 2011, then High-A Potomac first baseman Steven Souzawas exchanging phone calls with major college football coaches around the country; he had quit baseball. Now, In the wake of an injury to outfielder Nate McLouth, the Washington Nationals have promoted Souza to the majors.

Souza, now 25 and an outfielder, had been raking with Triple-A Syracuse. He owned a .354/.435/.601 line, pacing the International League in all three categories, and amassed 18 home runs and 24 stolen bases – both totals tied for third highest in the circuit. Souza was in fact building on prior success; he hit .300/.396/.557 in 77 games for Double-A Harrisburg last season. The lofty play has garnered him the full attention of scouts and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo ranked him as the Nationals 5th best prospect long month.

It’s been a jagged climb for the 2007 third round pick; back in October of 2011, he looked as done as most any player in the minor leagues. Read full article here.

Nats No. 3 prospect Taylor stars in Triple-A debut

(Daniel Popper, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — The Nationals promoted No. 3 prospect Michael Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse on Monday. The outfielder hit .313 with a .935 OPS, 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and 34 stolen bases in 98 games for Double-A Harrisburg this season.

“He’s found his power stroke,” manager Matt Williams said. “He is as good as I’ve seen in the outfield that can cover extreme ground out there. Makes it look real easy in center field. … He’s a young hitter still. But he’s made those adjustments and he continues to make them. And now, he’ll have another test. But that’s part of the progression that he’s got to go through.” Read full article here.

Bryce Harper surprises Anacostia students with renovated locker room

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

The cameras were set up for a dramatic reaction, ready for a YouTube moment of high-schoolers shocked into uncalculated excitement by an unexpected visit from a high-profile athlete.

Instead, Bryce Harper walked in to the newly renovated Anacostia High locker room Monday afternoon and was met with complete and undeniably awkward silence.

“How’re you guys doing today?” he asked in the hopes of breaking it. Read full article here.