Potomac Nationals World Baseball Classic Recap

Take a look at all the former Potomac Nationals who played in this year’s World Baseball Classic.

Hello P-Nats Fans! Thanks for reading the first post in the P-Nats and Cracker Jacks blog series! This is Broadcasting and Media Relations Assistant Andrew Grella bringing you a feature about the World Baseball Classic. The tournament came to an end last night, so today’s post recaps all of the former Potomac Nationals who played in the Classic this year and where they are now.

After two round robin tournaments and two single elimination games, the World Baseball Classic came to an end last night. Team USA defeated team Puerto Rico 8–0 behind a brilliant performance by Blue Jays right hander Marcus Stroman, who took a no-hitter into the 7th inning. Ian Kinsler’s two run home run opened up the scoring and Team USA never looked back. With the Classic ending last night, I thought this would be a timely post to recap all of the former P-Nats who took part in the tournament. The WBC was a lot of fun and provided a ton of entertainment for baseball fans around the globe. We would like to congratulate all our former players for their accomplishments and contribution to their native countries!

First we take a look at Team Colombia who had two former P-Nats on its roster.

Adrian Sanchez and Jhonatan Solano: Team Colombia

After Colombia stunned team Panama in Panama City on an eighth inning solo shot by Dilson Herrera to get to pool play for the first time at the World Baseball Classic, the team really turned heads in the first round. Although Colombia fell just short of advancing to the second round with a record of 1–2, they took the United States and Dominican Republic to extra innings before they were beaten 3–2 and 10–3 respectively. Adrian Sanchez and Jhonatan Solano each played a pivotal role in the team’s success.

Jhonatan Solano and his brother Donovan, natives of Barranquilla, Colombia, both had great showings in the WBC. Donovan went 3–14 with two runs batted in. While older brother Jhonatan raked for Colombia, batting .400, with a team high 4 hits including a double and a run batted in. Solano spent 68 games with the Potomac Nationals back in 2008. During his time in Woodbridge he hit .258 with four home runs and 24 RBIs. The 31-year old has spent most of his 11-year career with the Nationals. He spent some time with the Miami Marlins from 2014–15 but signed as a free agent with the Nationals at the end of the 2015 season. Over his career Solano had three stints in the majors, two with Washington and one with Miami. Last year, he played 52 games with the Triple-A Chiefs where he hit .225.

Adrian Sanchez spent parts of four seasons with Potomac, including two full seasons from 2012–13. No stranger to G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium, Sanchez played 269 total games with the Carolina League affiliate over his 10 year career. Arguably his best year was in 2012 with the P-Nats when he hit .269 in 101 games with three home runs and 32 runs batted in. He last appeared for Potomac in 2015. He spent majority of last season with the Harrisburg Senators and spent a few games in Syracuse. In the WBC, Sanchez had 3 hits in 12 at bats and he knocked in a run. Two of his three hits were extra base hits as Sanchez showcased his power on the world stage.

Up next we take at Team Israel who also had two former P-Nats on their roster.

RC Orlan and Tyler Herron: Team Israel

Israel was certainly the surprise of the tournament. Not only did Israel qualify for the second round, they went undefeated in the first round and came two games away from a semi-final appearance. Two relievers in the Nationals system pitched for Team Israel throughout the WBC.

R.C. Orlan saw action in two games during the tournament totaling 1.2 innings. He surrendered only one earned run and a walk. Orlan started his Nationals career in 2013 with the Auburn Doubledays. He spent all of last season with the P-Nats making 41 appearances out of the bullpen. Serving in a closers role, Orlan converted 9 of 14 save opportunities and pitched to a 3.93 ERA in 52.2 innings. He held the opposition to only 39 hits while striking out 46 batters.

Tyler Herron appeared in 10 games for Potomac in 2013, but spent most of the season in Harrisburg. Herron saw his numbers inflated after one bad outing in the WBC. The 12-year veteran saw the pitcher’s mound three times in the tournament and allowed three earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched. His control needs work heading into the season as he issued three free passes and five hits in three games. However, he struck out two batters in his appearances for Israel.

Next we look at team Canada, who selected one former Potomac National to play for them this season.

Nick Pivetta: Team Canada

Team Canada was eliminated in the first round of pool play finishing with no wins and three losses. However, Nick Pivetta is not to blame for Canada’s struggles. He had a fine performance for the Canadiens.

Pivetta is no longer in the Nationals system. He was sent to Philadelphia in 2015 as part of the Jonathan Papelbon deal. He spent majority of that season in Potomac. He made 14 starts for the P-Nats allowing only 22 earned runs in 86.1 innings and earned a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg before he was traded. Pivetta really showcased his effectiveness in his only start for Team Canada in the first round of pool play. Due to a pitch count regulation, Pivetta only threw four innings and 50 pitches against Colombia. But he was very effective. The 24-year old allowed only run on an RBI single to Donavan Solano who drove in Jhonatan Solano, who I mentioned earlier in this post. Pivetta spent last season with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Pivetta held a 2.55 ERA in 5 starts for the Iron Pigs.

Next we look at Team Mexico, who used one former Potomac National in their bullpen.

Rafael Martin: Team Mexico

Mexico was eliminated in the first round of the WBC, finishing in 4th place in Pool D. Venezuela and Puerto Rico emerged as the top two teams from that pool. Although he was never used, Mexico had a former P-Nat reliever ready to go out in the bullpen who is no stranger to Mexican baseball.

Rafael Martin began his career in the Mexican League with the Saraperos de Saltillo. It wasn’t until he was 26 years old that he entered the Nationals system. He broke into the Nats farm club with Potomac in 2011. It wasn’t long before he was promoted to Harrisburg. He spent a little more time in the Carolina League in 2013–14, but spent most of last year with the Chiefs and eight games with the Nationals. He made his major league debut in 2015. However, Martin did not appear in any games for team Mexico in their three WBC games.

Randolph Oduber: Team Netherlands

Team Netherlands burst onto the scene this year. They made a semi-final appearance but lost to Puerto Rico on Monday night, 4–3. Former Potomac National Randolph Oduber has been a staple in world tournaments for Team Netherlands and he continued his run in the 2017 WBC.

Oduber has not played in the minors since 2015 when he was released by the Nationals. However, Oduber now primarily plays internationally for the Netherlands. He was part of the Netherlands championship team at Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands. He played in the France International Baseball Tournament and also played in the 2016 European Baseball Championships, where the Netherlands took gold. He was also a member of the 2013 Netherlands WBC team as well. Oduber spent most of his final three seasons in the minors with the Potomac Nationals. 2014 was his best year with the red, white and blue. He posted a .266 batting average in 125 games. He drove in 51 runs that season, a career high, and ripped six dingers for the P-Nats. At the Classic he hit .176, going 3–17 in 6 appearances. One of those hits was a two-run home run against the hometown Koreans in the first round of pool play.

Tanner Roark: Team USA

Team USA are the champions of the world! After an 8–0 win last night against Puerto Rico at Dodger Stadium, the Americans took home gold at the WBC for the first time in the tournament’s history. Tanner Roark played a pivotal role in team USA’s first WBC title.

Roark spent the least amount of time in Potomac out of the rest on this list. Starting in the Rangers organization in 2008, Roark was traded to the Nationals in 2010 where he was assigned to the Harrisburg Senators. He has pitched one game for Potomac in his nine year career, a rehab start in 2015, but we still like to boast about the Nationals pitcher. I mean, what’s not to like? Roark threw four scoreless innings in a misty Dodgers stadium to help the Americans get past the Japanese to get to the final last night. In the start he scattered two hits over four scoreless frames. Roark had a great season with the Nationals last year posting a 16–10 record with a 2.83 earned run average. He threw over 200 innings for the first time his career and only allowed 173 hits while striking out 172 hitters in 210 innings. Roark will certainly take tons of confidence heading into the regular season with Washington this year. He adds another quality arm to a rotation that already has three outstanding arms in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez and the up and coming Joe Ross.

Well fans, that is the list of all the former and current Potomac Nationals who played in this year’s World Baseball Classic. With a ton of international talent at the lower levels, it is very possible that we will see many more former P-Nats in the Classic the next time it rolls around in 2021. But until then, we will have to see the upcoming stars of tomorrow at the Pfitz when we open up on April 13th against the Wilmington Blue Rocks!

Thanks for reading! And another big congratulations to all the former P-Nats who continue to make our organization proud with their accomplishments! Stay tuned for more blog posts! Until next time, go P-Nats!