Bernadina proving he's 'real deal'

Bernadina proving he's 'real deal'

ATLANTA -- Several of the Nationals were glad to see June come to an end. Right fielder Roger Bernadina wasn't one of them. He had a month to remember and, in the process, went from promising prospect to true Major Leaguer.

"It's been good," said Bernadina, a rookie whose finished the month with a .329 average. "I just want to keep it going."

Bernadina broke his right ankle in April 2009 and missed the rest of the season. He started this season with Triple-A Syracuse but quickly earned a promotion by hitting .377 during 14 games.

"I needed those extra at-bats," said Bernadina, who turned 26 years old on June 12. "It helped make up for the time I missed last year."

Bernadina started 1-for-11 after being recalled, and his average was only .200 on May 9. But he finished the month at .250, then really turned it up in June. He had a .409 on-base percentage for the month. Bernadina also chipped in six extra-base hits in June, including three of his five home runs.

"Bernie has a chance to be a heck of a player," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He got an opportunity, and he's grasping it. ... We think he's the real deal."