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Former Vt. Lake Monster player moves into Major League play

After 629 Minor League games in the last eight years, including 48 with the Vermont Lake Monsters during the 2008 season, outfielder Steven Souza is on a Major League roster for the first time in his career after being promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to the Washington Nationals on April 12. Souza is the 71st former Lake Monsters player all-time to reach the Major Leagues. (MILB photo)

After 629 Minor League games in the last eight years, including 48 with the Vermont Lake Monsters during the 2008 season, outfielder Steven Souza is on a Major League roster for the first time in his career after being promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to the Washington Nationals on April 12. Souza is the 71st former Lake Monsters player all-time to reach the Major Leagues. (MILB photo)

— After 629 Minor League games in the last eight years, including 48 with the Vermont Lake Monsters during the 2008 season, outfielder Steven Souza is on a Major League roster for the first time in his career after being promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to the Washington Nationals on April 12. Souza is the 71st former Lake Monsters player all-time to reach the Major Leagues.

Souza, who joins the Nationals after outfielder Denard Span was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list, was hitting .273 with two home runs and seven RBI in seven games for Syracuse after hitting .355 (11-for-31) with three home runs in 17 games for Washington during spring training.

A third-round selection of the Nationals in the 2007 draft out of Cascade High School in Everett, Washington, Souza spent the 2007 season with the Gulf Coast League Expos before joining the Lake Monsters in 2008, where he hit .189 (33-for-175) with five home runs and 25 RBI in 48 games. Souza is one of 16 Vermont players all-time to hit two home runs in one game, going 3-for-3 with the two homers and five RBI in a 6-1 Lake Monsters win vs. Lowell on June 26, 2008.

Souza's climb through the Nationals Minor League system included five years (2008-12) in single-A with Vermont, Hagerstown and Potomac before finally reaching Double-A in 2013, where he hit .300 (82-for-273) with 23 doubles, 15 homers and 44 RBI in 77 games for the Harrisburg Senators.

Along with being the 71st former Vermont player to reach the Majors all-time, Souza is the 16th different former Lake Monster on a Major League roster this season. Aaron Barrett, who made his Major League debut with Washington on March 31st, was sent to Triple-A Syracuse on April 12th after going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and six strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings in six games for the Nationals.

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