On Saturday, we got a chance to check in on our AAA prospects in Syracuse. Yunesky Maya (remember him?) got the start for the Chiefs against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, and led the way to a 4-0 win for the Chiefs’ first ‘W’ of the season.
Everybody was looking towards center field to see what Bryce Harper would do, but instead they found Corey Brown, an outfielder who came to the Nats in the 2010 trade with the A’s for Josh Willingham.
Brown has played center field most of his career, but with the Nats trying to see how Harper could play out in center, the two are alternating between right and center fields. Saturday was Brown’s turn at center, with Harper in right.
Both feed off of each other very well. They communicate well in the outfield and combine for some impressive outs. Manager Tony Beasley attributes this chemistry to the pair working a lot together in spring training.
“They played together in major league camp early, and then probably the last two weeks of camp they were together basically every day,” said Beasley, “They have a good feel for each other, and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
“With both of them flip flopping…it’s good that they have a good feel for each other.”
Individually, both are off to hot starts. Brown is 4-14 in four games, and Harper is 4-15. Neither have hit any out of the park yet or driven in runs, but both play a valuable role. Brown has been crucial as the lead-off hitter, and Harper took a key walk to load the bases on Saturday. Both also had stolen bases, and stood out among both the Nationals and Yankees prospects.
“I’m really happy with both of them,” Beasley said, “Brownie had a really good spring training and he’s carrying it over into the season.
“Harper missed some time in spring with an injury, but it seems like he’s getting back into the swing of things. He’s going to be fine. With the left handed pitchers, he’s still making some adjustments on that end, but he’s going to be a force for us. He’s a good player, and I expect good things out of him.”
A player who didn’t have quite the same start was Tyler Moore. One of the top prospects in the organization, the first baseman came into the season ice cold. He went hitless in his first two games before breaking out 3-4 on Saturday.
“I just had to get in my comfort zone,” said Moore, “I wasn’t really being myself, trying to do a little too much.
“It feels good to be back in the game. I actually felt like I was part of the game today instead of being out there, having my at bats, and heading back to the dug out. It actually felt like I was part of the team today and part of the game.”