Nats farmhand Cole exhibiting elite command

Organization's No. 2 prospect works seven scoreless innings vs. Buffalo

Nats farmhand Cole exhibiting elite command

Right-hander A.J. Cole, the Nationals' No. 2 prospect, threw seven strong innings on Wednesday, leading Triple-A Syracuse to a 5-0 victory at Buffalo.

Cole, ranked No. 54 on's Top 100 Prospects list, struck out six batters, walked none and allowed three hits. Wednesday marked his third straight start without issuing a walk, a streak that spans 20 innings.

Cole began the season with Double-A Harrisburg and earned a promotion in late June after posting a 2.92 ERA and a 61-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 71 innings.

Since joining Syracuse, Cole has gone 3-0 with a 2.64 ERA. The 22-year-old has struck out 24 batters and walked three in 30 2/3 innings.

Outfielder Steven Souza, the Nationals' No. 14 prospect, went 2-for-5 with a stolen base in Wednesday's victory. He is hitting .360/.430/.582 with 22 stolen bases in 89 games. He leads the International League in hitting, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and he ranks third in stolen bases.

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.