Article in the Times (06/27 by Ben Goessling) about Bernadina, Ill cut a few excerpts from the article, the link is also provided below:
It's easy enough to look at the season Roger Bernadina is having at Class AA Harrisburg and see a sudden breakthrough. Washington Nationals assistant general manager Bob Boone looks at it and sees the next step in a steady progression.
The biggest thing that has changed for the Senators outfielder, Boone said, isn't something about his swing or the way he studies pitchers. It's just what happens when a talented player begins to make the lessons he has learned start to count for something.
Bernadina ranks second in the Nationals' organization in batting average (.323) and stolen bases (25). He also has played center field for the Senators while Justin Maxwell is out with a right wrist injury, working with former major leaguer Devon White to refine the way he reads fly balls.
He is working with Devon White on his fielding skills, which do need a bit of refining. From White's presence in the minor leagues, it is becoming apparent that he is getting a sort of on the job tryout for some coaching position, maybe (EDIT) Lenny Harris' job or as coach for the outfielders. Also, Bernadina has always had the tools, but as the article and Boone mention, it is the mental part that he is finally nailing down. I saw that mental concentration was mentioned in the thread on Felipe Lopez and it is obvious that there is an overall lack of mental concentration on the team currently. Glad to see the kid is pulling through at AA.
Boone said the Nationals contemplated starting Bernadina in Columbus but decided he would be better served by playing every day at Harrisburg.
"We could take him to the big leagues right from there as easy as going through Columbus," Boone said. "The biggest thing is that he gets a year of 550 at-bats."
Bernadina could move to Columbus before seeing time in the majors as a September call-up, but Boone said the Netherlands native is a good bet to reach the big leagues this fall one way or another.
I like Bernadina especially because of where he came from, The Netherlands, and you can take a guess as to where he grew up (I bet you guys can all tell what I used to do in HS
. But seriously, Boone confirms that he will be one of those guys called up in September and makes sense. Guzman is not a leadoff type of guy, he gets a lot of hits, but has very little speed. Dukes has probably solidified himself into the 2 spot and I dont know what they will do with Milledge once Zimmerman comes back (I doubt because of SO that he will be number one). I guy like Bernadina could eventually fill in that leadoff spot.
Where he goes from there is still up for debate. He has shown the skills to be a leadoff hitter but still needs to cut down on his strikeouts. And Boone said Bernadina, who has batted third for Harrisburg, could project there in the majors, as well.http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jun/27/bernadinas-next-step-might-be-the-majors/
"He might be a tremendous two-hole hitter," Boone said. "You'd hope Ryan Zimmerman is going to occupy that third spot for a long time. But [Bernadina is] going to be a top-of-the-order guy."
I think a bunch of people are really going to be impressed with this kid when they get a chance to see him at the MLB level. I think once Kearns leaves/outlives his welcome, Dukes can be moved back to Right and there might be a spot for Bernadina in left. Until then though, he would serve as a useful fourth man off the bench, with the speed to sub him in the late innings of a game ala Willie Harris. Depending on how the tranistion goes, he could be a fixture on this team for a while.