Nationals prospect Matt Purke rocked in Arizona Fall League appearance

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Matt Purke, who agreed to a major league deal with the Nationals in August worth $4.4 million, made his first pro start yesterday in the Arizona Fall League. And it didn’t go so well.

Courtesy of Amanda Comak of the Washington Times, here was his line:

1/3 IP, 7 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

Ouch. Purke, who fell to the third round in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft due to arm problems, threw just 10 out of 22 pitches for strikes and registered one swinging strike. The 21-year-old southpaw topped out at 92 mph on the radar gun and mostly sat in the 89-91 mph range.

While it’s easy to panic after a poor performance like this, Purke kept things in perspective in a series of Tweets last night:

Sometimes you win sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains Well today it rained and poured and hailed and sleeted and tornadoed.

Just got to get out there and do better next time.

Fortunately for Purke, it’s nearly impossible to do much worse.

Didi Gregorius continues to be ridiculous

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Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.

For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.

After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:

“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”

Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:

 

We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.