VIERA, Fla. -- Third baseman Drew Ward, the ninth-ranked prospect in the Nationals' organization according to MLB.com, received quite the shock when he was told Sunday that he was leaving the Minor League side for a day to play with the big league team on Monday. Ward went 1-for-2 with an infield single in a 7-6 victory over the Yankees.
"It's a dream come true, that's for sure," Ward said.
The Nationals needed an extra player because Ian Stewart needed the day off. Stewart had played every day since Anthony Rendon went down with an MCL sprain in his left knee in early March.
Ward is considered the Nats' third baseman of the future. Last year, he played for Class A Hagerstown and hit .269 with 10 home runs and 73 RBIs. The Nationals are expecting his power to develop in a few years. They believe he is capable of hitting 30 home runs in a season.
"I had a pretty good year. I had some decent numbers," Ward said. "The team did really well. They made it all the way to the championship series -- made it to Game 5 and got beat. But it was a fun year."
Ward said he wants to get better on defense. He worked on his footwork this past offseason. He has other goals as well.
"My goals are to play in [Class A Advanced] Potomac this year and then go to Double-A by the end of the year," Ward said.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.