WASHINGTON -- When first baseman Chris Marrero was called up to the Nationals on June 9, he saw plenty of familiar faces from his first stint with the team in 2011. And one of the new faces, left-hander Gio Gonzalez, wasn't actually a new face at all.
Gonzalez and Marrero were high school teammates for one year at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami. Gonzalez was a senior and "Nene" was a sophomore third baseman. More than nine years later, Marrero is amazed that their respective careers have brought them together again.
"It's crazy," Marrero said, shaking his head. "You want to make it to the big leagues, and now you're here with somebody you know. It's fun."
Gonzalez was drafted out of high school by the White Sox and traded four times before landing in Washington. Marrero was the Nationals' first-round pick in the 2006 Draft and has been in the organization throughout his professional career.
The two were close friends in high school and had what Gonzalez called "a famous dance." Marrero said they didn't have too many crazy stories, but "probably some we can't say."
Gonzalez always knew that Marrero had Major League potential.
"BP was unbelievable watching this guy," Gonzalez said. "I remember just seeing him as a kid, still the same Nene. Tall, strong, Nene. But seeing him again now in the big leagues is unbelievable. To be with him in high school and now, it's definitely a cool story."
Tom Schad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Schad. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.