The 2008 Blessed Trinity alum has gone from a recent draft pick with potential, to a leading MVP candidate in the South Atlantic League (SAL) and one of the hottest prospects in the Washington Nationals farm system — which has produced MLB All-Stars Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in recent years.
As of July 30, Skole was leading the SAL in home runs (22), RBIs (76), walks (84), third in on-base-percentage (.437), and was fifth in slugging percentage (.551). He was selected to represent the Nationals in the SAL All-Star game on June 19 and even made an appearance in the SAL Home run Derby which took place on the deck of the USS Yorktown.
“I’ve been seeing the ball well all year and am very happy about how the year has gone,” said Skole, who has spent the whole season with the Hagerstown Suns, the Nationals’ Class-A affiliate. “Playing in the All-Star game was a tremendous honor in itself and I’m just doing what I can to help my team and get better every day.”
Skole led Blessed Trinity to a 2006 Class AAA state championship and is the school’s all-time leader in home runs and RBIs.
He went on to have three successful years as the starting third baseman at Georgia Tech and was drafted by Washington in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Draft.
He was quick to sign a professional contract last summer and was eligible to play a short season (72 games) with the Nationals’ low Class-A affiliate Auburn Doubledays — hitting .280 with five home runs and 48 RBI.
Skole pointed to the half season as an eye opener to the professional baseball life and a key reason for his success in 2012.
“It taught me so much about the daily grind of pro baseball, how to eat right, how to get your rest, and how to prepare with the same routine each day. It’s a lifestyle you have to adjust to and I realized how much work had to be put in to move up the ladder in the minor leagues.”
As for when Skole could see himself take the next step up that ladder, the Nationals’ prospect said he isn’t worried about the timing of a promotion. Instead he is focused on a strong finish to his first full year and confident his call will come soon.
“Those things are out of my control and I am just going to work on the things that I can control. I’m lucky to still be pursuing my goal of making the big leagues and if I keep working hard and doing well I am sure it will work itself out.”