Best Player: First baseman Tyler Moore powered his way to Washington by batting .310/.372/.660 in 100 at-bats during two stints at Triple-A Syracuse. He also became more versatile, playing left field on occasion while still seeing most of his time at first.
Moore said the most important part of learning the new position was to not try to do too much. With help from outfield instructor Tony Tarasco, he was effective enough at to earn his first big league callup after just three games in left with the Chiefs. The 25-year-old righthanded hitter went 19-for-56 (.339) at the outset of his Nationals career, and that included a two-homer game at Toronto.
Biggest Leap Forward: Low Class A Hagerstown third baseman Matt Skole made the South Atlantic League all-star team as he batted .288/.437/.556 with 18 homers through 250 at-bats in his full-season debut. He led the SAL in homers and on-base percentage and ranked fourth in slugging.
A fifth-round pick last year out of Georgia Tech, the 22-year-old Skole tied Syracuse outfielder Corey Brown for the system lead in home runs. Skole led the short-season New York-Penn League with 23 doubles in 2011, and the lefthanded hitter had shown enhanced home-run power this season.
Biggest Disappointment: The organization had yet to see the Matt Purke who led Texas Christian to the College World Series in 2010. A third-round pick last year who signed a major league deal, Purke did not join an affiliate until May 30.
The lefthander made just three starts with Hagerstown—going 0-2, 5.87 with 14 strikeouts but also 12 walks—before coming down with an injured pitching shoulder. Though Purke's shoulder has no structural damage, he has struggled through his stints in the Arizona Fall League and now the Sally League.
Also on the injury front, third baseman Anthony Rendon could be out for the rest of the minor league season after partially fracturing an ankle in his second game at high Class A Potomac.
• Hagerstown righthander Alex Meyer served as the Nationals' lone representative at the Futures Game. He went 6-4, 3.51 through 15 starts with 88 strikeouts in 77 innings.
• The Nationals promoted a pair of shortstops up one level following the midseason all-star games, moving Zach Walters to Double-A Harrisburg and Jason Martinson to high Class A Potomac.