Nationals’ Abreu Ups His Game

WASHINGTON—Shortstop Osvaldo Abreu has grown up right before low Class A Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson’s eyes.

Some of that development came in 2013, when Abreu was part of an Anderson-managed team that went 49-9 and won the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League title.

Then, Abreu helped himself even more at Hagerstown last season, when he hit .274/.357/.412 in 123 games and stole 30 bases in 41 attempts.

“From where he was two years before, I could see a big difference in his awareness of situations,” Anderson said. “He’s a really good kid, a quiet young man. He’s so hard on himself, but he has started to get a lot more relaxed and let the game come to him.”

The 21-year-old Abreu signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. He spent his first summer in the Dominican Summer League, his second in the GCL and his third at short-season Auburn. He hit just .229 in 2014 at the last of those stops.

Anderson said Abreu made similar headway in nearly every part of the game in 2015, his first full season.

“I thought his plate discipline was a lot better, and the accuracy on his throws was a lot better,” Anderson said. “Like a lot of minor leaguers, he needs to slow the game down sometimes. He did that in every area.”

Abreu improved his fielding percentage only marginally in 2015, from .917 to .923, but Anderson said the 6-foot shortstop has the range and the arm to stay at the position.

“He really worked hard off the field,” Anderson said of Abreu, who won the organization’s strength and conditioning competition during instructional league. “I was really impressed with how he maintained his strength and how much time he spent working on getting stronger.”


• The Nationals hired former Marlins general manager (and manager) Dan Jennings as a special assistant to GM Mike Rizzo. Jennings, who previously worked for the Rays, Reds and Mariners, will be involved in all areas of the organization’s scouting operations.

• Former Triple-A Syracuse broadcaster Jason Benetti was hired as a TV play-by-play announcer for the White Sox. He worked as the Chiefs’ lead broadcaster from 2010-14. Born with cerebral palsy, Benetti has been involved in several related charities.

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