The fact that a player was promoted from Low-A Hagerstown to High-A Potomac this early in the season comes as a surprise to no one.
The fact that it wasn't Bryce Harper is.
Twenty-three-year-old Cameron Selik, the Nationals' 22nd round pick in last year's amateur draft, is now with the Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League and should make his first start with the team sometime this weekend.
The San Diego native had a good-but-not great career with the University of Kansas and began his professional career last summer as a reliever for the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. In 28 innings, he went 1-0 with a 2.54 ERA, striking out 10.2 per nine innings while walking 4.1.
He moved into Hagerstown's rotation this year and has dominated, going 3-0 in five starts with a minuscule 0.31 ERA (best in all of minor league baseball), striking out 9.3 per nine-innings and dropping his walk rate from 4.1 last year to 0.9 this season. His strikeout-to-walk ratio last year was an above-average 2.4:1. This year it's 10:1.
John Sickels said that the 6'3", 240 pounder is a "strong legs" type of pitcher with a decent fastball that tops out at 92 mph and a breaking ball with a "nasty" bite to it.
A few weeks after Sickels' scouting report was published, Selik hit 95 mph a couple of times in a start against Baylor, giving him hope that he is now fully healed from his Tommy John surgery from three seasons ago.
He grew up catching fellow San Diego native Stephen Strasburg and started his pitching career in junior college as both starter and reliever—sometimes in the same week.
MASN's Byron Kerr talked to Suns' play-by-play announcer Bryan Holland who said that "He has a devastating slider that slips low and away. Cameron also has a great differential in speed between his fastball, slider, and changeup. This makes him virtually unhittable when the batter has two strikes on him."
It would seem that Selik has joined the cabal of Nationals' minor league pitchers on the fast track to the major leagues, but a 23-year-old pitcher in the South Atlantic League should dominate the competition.
Let's see what happens in Potomac this summer before jumping to any conclusions about his future. But, so far, so good.