|Chicago White Sox|
|Third baseman / First baseman|
July 30, 1989 |
Prior to the 2013 season, Skole was ranked as the Nationals fourth-best prospect by Baseball America. However, Skole collided with a runner on a fielding play at first base in the second game of his 2013 campaign with the Class-AA Harrisburg Senators, falling to the ground and tearing his ulnar collateral ligament and flexor tendon in his left elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery on April 17, 2013, taking him out of action for the season. Skole returned to action and played in the Nationals' instructional league in September and then against high minor league talent for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.
Skole struggled somewhat in 2014 after missing a significant amount of the previous season, batting .241/.352/.399 with Harrisburg. He slipped down the prospect rankings, with Baseball America listing him as the Nationals' 24th-best prospect after the season—20 places lower than he was before it started. He was not added to the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 draft that winter, but no team selected him and he remained with the Nationals organization.
Despite Skole's poor 2014 campaign, he was invited to spring training with the major league ballclub in 2015. After hitting well in spring training, he got off to a slow start with Harrisburg but then went on an offensive tear in June and July, earning a promotion to the Class-AAA Syracuse Chiefs. Skole was once again left unprotected before the Rule 5 draft after the season, but again, he was not drafted and remained part of the organization.
The Nationals again invited Skole to spring training before their 2016 season. He spent the entire season with Syracuse for the first time in his minor league career. The Nationals added Skole to their 40-man roster after the 2016 season, in which he hit 24 home runs as a Chief and won a minor league Gold Glove Award at first base.
While on the minor league disabled list, Skole was designated from assignment and removed from the Nationals' 40-man roster on July 29, 2017, to clear space for newly acquired utilityman Howie Kendrick. He cleared waivers and was released by the Nationals, but days later, he signed a new minor league contract with the organization and was assigned to the Auburn Doubledays. He elected free agency on November 6, 2017, and announced November 21 that he had signed with the Chicago White Sox.
In his minor league seasons, Skole has exclusively played at first and third base in the field. Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo described him in 2012 as someone who "probably profiles as a left-handed power bat at first base". He has also been noted as a patient hitter with a "strong propensity to take walks".
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- Kerr, Byron (September 26, 2016). "Matt Skole earns minor league Gold Glove". MASN Sports. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- Janes, Chelsea (July 29, 2017). "Nats place Stephen Drew on the 10-day DL with an abdominal strain". twitter.com. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- "Matt Skole: Granted release". CBS Sports. August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- Houghtaling, Jeremy (August 9, 2017). "Auburn Doubledays take early lead, fend off Connecticut Tigers' rally in win". auburnpub.com. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
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- Reddington, Patrick (November 11, 2012). "Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo On MLB Network Radio On Adam LaRoche, Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton And Zack Greinke". Federal Baseball. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
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