The Nationals welcomed 10-year-old cancer patient Parker Staples as the newest addition to their team on Friday, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Foundation.
While battling lymphoma, Staples learned he would receive a wish and didn’t hesitate about what he wanted to choose. After being sidelined for two years during treatment, Parker couldn’t wait to celebrate his remission by becoming part of his favorite baseball team.
Staples was introduced to his new teammates and got signed autographs from Matt Adams, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, and Yan Gomes. He also got to spend time hitting and playing catch with his new teammates, as well as being interviewed as the newest member of the team. It gets even better than that, Staples threw the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park leading up to the Marlins-Nationals game Staples
"My favorite moment was throwing the first pitch. It was really cool," Staples said.
"Probably the biggest day of my life."
The Nationals hosted the Miami Marlins in the series opener Friday.
The Nationals' No. 13 overall prospect is no longer in the organization, and it's not because of a trade that Washington made.
That's because the Miami Marlins selected pitcher Sterling Sharp with the No. 3 overall pick during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Sharp was susceptible to being drafted after the Nationals chose not to protect him by placing the right-hander on their 40-man roster.
The Marlins will pay Washington $100,000 for Sharp. The 24-year-old most remain on Miami's 25-man MLB roster for the entirety of the 2020 season or he will be offered back for $50,000.
Sharp, a 22nd round pick in the 2016 draft, made just nine starts for the Nationals Double-A affiliate Harrisburg in 2019 due to an oblique injury. His numbers were not especially eye-popping, as he posted a 3.99 ERA with an 8.2 K/9 ratio.
His performance in the Arizona Fall League was considerably better, where he put up a 1.50 ERA in six starts.
Sharp is incredibly athletic and could have played college basketball, according to MLB.com's Pipeline. Standing 6-foot-4, Sharp is known for his sinker and high ground-ball rate. In 2018, his last season fully healthy, he finished with 59.7 percent ground-ball rate, good for a Top 10 finish in all of the minors and the highest among qualified starters in the Nationals' farm system.
A three-pitch starter, Sharp has a solid changeup in his arsenal to go along with a low 90s fastball and his sinker.
Expected to make his MLB debut in 2020, Sharp could very well face his former team next season. As a divisional opponent, the Marlins will face the Nationals 19 times next season.
The Nationals did, however, select a prospect during the Minor League portion of the draft. Washington added switch-hitting shortstop Manuel Geraldo from the Giants system, who hit .255 with five home runs and 53 RBI in Double-A.
Anthony Rendon is officially a Los Angeles Angel. The Nats' All-Star third baseman signed a 7-year/$245 million contract with the Angels Wednesday night and with that, the Nats were suddenly third baseman-less.
As we bid farewell to Rendon, we're looking back on his top six moments as a Washington National. Here for seven seasons, Rendon had plenty of All-Star moments, but these were the most unforgettable.
6. Rendon's first MLB home run as a National
June 15, 2013: Rendon's first MLB home run came in the top of the ninth against the Cleveland Indians to win the game for the Nats 7-6.
5. His grand slam against the Braves this past summer
July 29, 2019: Rendon hits a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the sixth against the visiting Braves to put the Nats up 6-2. The Nats went on to win 6-3.
4. His unreal, 3 HR, 10 RBI game
April 30, 2017: Rendon has one of the best games of his career going 6-for-6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs against the New York Mets. One of the 10 RBIs was nearly a grand slam. The Nats won that game by a whopping 18 runs, 23-5.
3. His home run in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Dodgers
October 9, 2019: The Nats' bats finally get hot in the top of the eighth inning in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Dodgers. Rendon hits a home run off Clayton Kershaw to put the Nats and the Dodgers within one. Juan Soto came up next to bat and hit another solo homer off Kershaw to tie the game at 3, and we all know what happened when Howie Kendrick came up to bat...
2. His home run in Game 6 of the World Series
October 29, 2019: In a do-or-die Game 6 to force a Game 7, Rendon hits a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to extend the Nats' lead 5-2. The Nats went on to win 7-2 to force Game 7, and we all know how that one ended.
1. His home run in Game 7 of the World Series
October 30, 2019: Without a doubt, Anthony Rendon's top moment as a Washington National was his home run in the top of the seventh inning in Game 7 of the World Series to put the Nats on the board and move within one run of the Astros. Juan Soto came up next to get on base with a single and Howie Kendrick hit a two-run home run soon after. The Nats beat the Astros to win their first-ever World Series, 7-2.
Anthony Rendon has had many incredible moments over his seven seasons as a Washington National and he'll be missed in D.C.