For the first time in their history, the Fredericksburg Nationals have walked off the field winners. Unfortunately, the win didn’t come in their first game, their first series, the first week of the season, or even the second week of the season. The Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals had to endure 15 straight losses in their inaugural season before they were able to taste victory.
This is Low-A baseball, what impact, if any, does the success of these ballplayers have on the Washington Nationals organization as a whole? Little you’d think, right?
Most of these players probably don’t make it to the Major Leagues, and those who do, are likely to have moved to another organization to do so. In fact, there are just three players on the current Fredericksburg roster who appear on the organization’s Top-30 Proposect List. Two, if we don’t count Mason Denaburg who is out for the year after having Tommy John surgery.
There are some baseball names on the roster, however, in Tanner Driskell, Jake Randa, and Jake Boone. They are sons of former Major Leaguers. None of them were drafted higher than the 9th round, and aside from their bloodlines, aren’t viewed to have race through the minors upside. Trey Turner is on the roster, though it’s Trey with a “y”, no relation to Trea Turner with an “a”.
The Nationals Single-A affiliate in Fredericksburg endured 15 straight losses before winning their first game in franchise history.
The impact this has as a whole lies in the culture revolving around the team and the organization. Tell me the first words that come to mind when I say Pittsburgh Pirates. Yeah, they may have had a rich baseball tradition, though in the what have you done for me lately world we live in, they are a losing franchise. A franchise unwilling to invest in their team, into their present.
Fans won’t associate Single-A players with anything when they become Major Leaguers, though it’s hard to shake a losing mindset. It’s hard to put in the time and work needed, when losing occurs on a regular basis. When these players progress to the next level in baseball, commentators, fans, news media will mention in passing, these players came from that dreadful Fredericksburg team who was not only beaten, but blown out, most of the time.
The Fred Nats may have a record of 1-15 now, but their parent team believes in going 1-0 each day. What happened the previous 15 days doesn’t matter. Winning baseball games today does. Developing talent does. Congratulations, Fredericksburg on your first franchise victory and continue to fight for further victories.