Lacy Lusk

Making The Leap

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Once Cory VanAllen uncovered an effective secondary pitch, he may have made himself one of the Nationals' primary pitching prospects. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound lefthander scrapped his curveball during spring training and was dominating with his slider. He won his first six decisions of the season between high Class A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Washington Nationals

Something To Crow About

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Having monitored all 15 of Missouri righthander Aaron Crow's starts firsthand this season, the Nationals had no doubts that he can deliver as a frontline pitcher. The organization made the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Golden Spikes Award, Roger Clemens Award and Dick Howser Trophy finalist the ninth overall pick, and the choice came easily according to club officials.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Washington Nationals

Souza-Size Me

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Steven Souza has more to work with than he did when he made his professional debut last year. The third baseman found that out quickly this spring. After bulking up from about 190 pounds to 205, he showed improved power in accelerated minor league spring training. A sore right shoulder kept him in extended spring, but he hit five home runs in less than a week and promptly reported to low Class A Hagerstown.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Washington Nationals

Smoker’s No Joker

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At age 19, lefthander Josh Smoker has a long way to go before taking a permanent spot in a big league clubhouse. This spring, though, he received a temporary taste. The contract signed by the 2007 supplemental first-round pick stipulated that he receive an invite to major league camp this spring. He even got to pitch at Space Coast Stadium, striking out three in two shutout innings in a 15-0 victory against Georgetown University.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Washington Nationals