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MARRERO SHINES IN HAGERSTOWN

[May 11th] -- After Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals' fans expect a lot from their first round draft picks. Zimmerman, who just missed being named NL Rookie Of The Year in 2006, made it to the major leagues just four months after being taken in the first round of the 2005 amateur draft.

Last year, with the 16th pick, the Nationals took a high school 3rd baseman, Chris Marrero.

No doubt he's not going to make it to the major leagues anytime soon, but he's showing that when the time is right, he just may be the impact player that the Nationals so desparately need.

Marrero, a 6'3", 210 lb right-hander, batted .309 with 16 RBI's in 81 at-bats last season with the Nationals' team in the Gulf Coast League. It was a solid effort, though only 9 of his 25 hits went for extra bases.

A lack of power isn't a problem this year.

Playing with Hagerstown, the 18 year old hit two homers and drove in six runs Friday night. He's now batting .302-6-27. Take a look at his projected stats for 2007:

Hits:129 - 2B:21 - 3B:0 - HR:26 - RBI:116 - BB:17 - K:76

About the only negative is a relative lack of plate discipline; he's walked only 4 times this year. He's batting .310 against lefties, .280 against righties. A natural 3rd baseman, he was switched to the outfield last year, but scouts described him as only "adequate." He is showing a natural talent around the first base bag, however, and it looks like that's where he'll play as a major leaguer.

Chris Marrero. Remember the name.


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