District Daily: Nationals’ top Dominican prospect is better late


October 6, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder

Jayson Werth

(28, right) bats in front of San Francisco Giants catcher

Buster Posey

(28, left) during game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning DoD readers, start off your day with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web in our District Daily:

Wilmer Difo, Washington Nationals’ top Dominican prospect, bloomed late

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic — In 2010, the kid who could be patrolling the middle infield for the Washington Nationals in the near future was 18 years old, short, scrawny and concerned that time was running out on his dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. The aspirations that began when Wilmer Difo first learned the game from his mother and uncles when he was 7 seemed just out of reach. The hopes of being able to financially help his family and single mother teetered.

Nearly every Dominican boy’s dream of being a big league player starts on the mostly dirt neighborhood fields of this baseball-crazy Caribbean island. Prospective agents and major league teams scour these sandlots looking for talent, and although teams can’t sign prospects until they turn 16, oral agreements are often struck earlier. Such a competitive environment means windows close early, and Difo has plenty of friends who couldn’t sign at 18 or older. Read full article here.

More from District on Deck

Jayson Werth surprises children of fallen military serviceman

(Scott Allen, Washington Post)

Michael and Alexa McIlvaine arrived at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Southeast on Monday expecting to tour the facility with other children from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), which provides support for the families of fallen military servicemen and women. They were in for a surprise.

While Michael and Alexa took turns in the academy’s batting cages, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth entered the room with his sons, Jackson and Judah, and introduced himself. Werth worked with both Michael and Alexa on their baseball fundamentals, signed autographed and shared a few laughs. Read full article here.