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Posted at 04:04 PM ET, 08/29/2012

Anthony Rendon headlines Nationals’ Arizona Fall League players


(Jonathan Newton - WASHINGTON POST)
The Nationals will send six players, and potentially two more, to the Arizona Fall League next month, including top infield prospect Anthony Rendon.

Four Nationals pitchers – Christian Garcia, Paul Demny and Ryan Perry – will pitch for the Salt River Rafters, a team that shares players with the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Rockies, White Sox and Nationals.

Rendon, 22, among the Nationals’ top overall prospects and the sixth overall choice in the 2011 draft, recovered from a fractured ankle in April and returned in late July. He tore through his rehab and was promoted to Class AA Harrisburg in mid-August. Though he has struggled some there, the Nationals are high on his quick bat and strong defense. Across four minor-league levels this season, he is hitting .246/.368/.491.

Garcia, 27, has enjoyed a breakout season in the Nationals’ minor league system. The big right-hander has a 0.91 ERA over 49 1/3 innings, allowing only two earned runs over 29 1/3 innings at Class AAA Syracuse.

Perry, 25, who pitched as a reliever for the Nationals early this season before being sent to the minors to be turned into a starter, has taken to the role. In 12 starts for Harrisburg, he has a 2.82 ERA with 40 strikeouts over 67 innings. Demny, 23, a Class A Potomac starter has a 5.44 ERA over 120 2/3 innings.

Outfielder Brian Goodwin, 21, and infielder Jason Martinson, 23, were also named to the team.

One more Nationals minor league pitcher and infielder would be named later. The pitcher will not be Alex Meyer, the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 draft who played in the MLB All-Star Futures game. Meyer, 22, was shut down last week after hitting 129 innings this season, an effort to limit an early and heavy workload on a young pitcher.

Goodwin, among the Nationals’ top prospects, began the season at Hagerstown where he hit .324/.438/.542. Goodwin, the 34th pick in 2011 who signed a $3 million bonus, was promoted to Harrisburg in late July. He has struggled some there, hitting .219/.305/.384 in 37 games. Goodwin is a speedy player who can play center field and, if he continues his development, could be a solution in the major leagues down the road.

Martinson, 23, will be a “taxi squad” member instead of a full participant. That means he can attend and participate in every practice and workout, and attend every game. But he is allowed to only play in two games a week, Wednesday and Sunday – a way to lighten a player’s load. He accomplished a difficult feat, knocking in at least 100 RBI and scoring 100 runs this season. He is hitting .254/.349/.445 with 22 home runs and 106 RBI across Hagerstown and Potomac this season.

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