Minor League Report: Larry Broadway
First baseman trying to make strong impression for front office
VIERA, Fla. -- The 2007 season was supposed to be the year in which Larry Broadway became the starting first baseman for the Nationals. The position was open because Nick Johnson was disabled due a broken right leg.
Based on the stats, Broadway did very well in Spring Training, going 10-for-28 (.357) with four RBIs, but that wasn't good enough. Both manager Manny Acta and general manager Jim Bowden wanted to see Broadway display some power, which didn't happen. So, the Nationals sent Broadway to Minor League camp in mid-March and decided that Dmitri Young was their guy at first base.
"Most of those at-bats were off the bench," Broadway said. "I was trying to battle to get hits. I wasn't trying to yank home runs. I was trying to get my rhythm, see my pitches, get my timing and hit the ball square. After that, the home runs would have come."
Broadway ended up playing for Triple-A Columbus and hit. 249 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs. He must have a better showing this year, because he will be a Minor League free agent after the season.
"I'm looking forward to getting the season started, putting up numbers and trying to win," Broadway said. "I haven't been on one Minor League team that finished over .500. The main goal is to win some games."
Name in the game: During his 17 years in the big leagues, Devon White was one of the best defensive center fielders and baserunners in the game. He learned his craft by watching former teammates Gary Pettis and Rickey Henderson.
Today, White is the Nationals' outfield and baserunning coordinator. He plans to teach the Minor Leaguers what he learned from Pettis and Henderson.
"I have a lot of knowledge with baserunning and outfielder work," White said. "I felt I would give it a try. I have been home for a while. This is an opportunity for me to give back."
They're No. 1: Right-hander Clint Everts was the Expos' first-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft and he has yet to play past Class A. Elbow reconstruction surgery had a lot to do with it.
After being ineffective as a starter the last two years, Everts has been put in the bullpen. Like Broadway, this will be Everts' last chance to show that he should stay in the Nationals' Minor League system. He, too, is a Minor League free agent after the season.
"He has responded pretty well to being in the bullpen and it's probably where he is going to be," assistant general manager Bob Boone said. "He is coming here with a little more power [in his fastball]. We have been waiting for the fastball to come. He has a great curveball. We are encouraged by it."
Class of '07: Left-hander Jack McGeary was taken in the sixth round and there was a feeling that he would not sign with the Nationals, because he wanted first-round money. But the Nationals signed him to a $1.8 million signing bonus and announced that they would pay for his education at Stanford University.
After signing, McGeary went to Class A Vermont and gave up four earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. He then went to Stanford for the fall and winter.
McGeary arrived in Spring Training on Tuesday and will remain with the organization until early April. He will then go back to school for the third quarter semester.
Stat machine: Pitcher Chris Booker led the Nationals' Minor League system in saves with 30.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.