Rogearvin Argelo Bernadina
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 175 lb.
Roger Bernadina made his major league debut with the Washington Nationals in his 8th professional season in 2008. After six years in rookie and A ball, he made it to both AA and AAA in his 7th season. He is the brother of Ludwig Bernadina and minor leaguer Roderick Bernadina.
Bernadina was signed by scout Fred Ferreira for the Montréal Expos in 2001. In 2002, he debuted for the GCL Expos and hit .276/.348/.357. His 10 outfield assists led the Gulf Coast League. In 2003, he began a three-year run with the Savannah Sand Gnats, hitting .237/.292/.345. At age 19/20, he improved to .238/.338/.369 with 7 triples and 24 steals in 26 tries. He did strike out 113 times in 450 AB. He had 10 errors but 15 assists. In his third year with the Sand Gnats, he batted .233/.356/.369 and stole 35 bases while getting caught 8 times. His 75 walks led the South Atlantic League. The Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season.
In 2006, Roger moved up to the Potomac Nationals and hit .270/.355/.369. He went 28-for-39 in steal attempts and was 11th in the Carolina League in average. Joining DOOR Neptunus for the playoffs, he went 1 for 6.
Bernadina started 2007 with the Harrisburg Senators, making his AA debut. He batted .277/.352/.379 in his first 56 games and stole 25 bases in 32 tries. He was leading the Eastern League in steals at the time. He was promoted to AAA when the Nationals traded Darnell McDonald away for Levale Speigner. In his AAA debut against the Ottawa Lynx, the new Columbus Clippers outfielder went 0 for 4 with a walk and a run. He was just 7 for 42 with Columbus, with a .327 OBP and .238 slugging percentage. He was sent back to AA and finished the season with a .270/.340/.369 line in Harrisburg with 40 steals in 54 attempts. He finished second to Eugenio Velez in stolen bases in the EL.
In the 2007 European Championship, Bernadina hit .632/.759/1.053 with 18 runs and six steals in six tries. In the Gold Medal game, he scored 3 times to help the Dutch national team clinch a spot in the 2008 Olympics. He had the best OBP in the finals and was second in average and slugging to tourney MVP Brant Ust. Bernadina led in runs and tied for the stolen base lead in the finals. He made the EC All-Star team in the outfield. Bernadina remained a sparkplug for the Dutch team in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, hitting .357/.500/.429 but was limited to four games in the field due to injury problems; Martijn Meeuwis and Gregory Halman filled in as Bernadina was still used for pinch-hitting duties.
The Dutch Baseball and Softball Association awarded Bernadina the Guus van der Heijden Memorial Trophy as the best international player under 23 years old for 2007.
Bernadina began 2008 with the Senators and hit .323/.398/.474 with 26 steals in 35 tries in 73 games. He was 6th in the Eastern League in average, 9th in OBP, 1st in steals, tied with Nick Evans for 2nd in triples (7) and tied for 6th in runs (47). He made his major league debut after being promoted to the Nationals due to the injury to Lastings Milledge. He led off and played center in his MLB debut and went 1 for 5 and scored a run. In his first at-bat, he singled off Jeremy Guthrie and later came home on an Aaron Boone grounder.
Bernadina earned the nickname "The Shark" for his ability to gobble down fly balls in the outfield, reminiscent of a shark pouncing on smaller fishes. Wanting to take advantage of a rare cool nickname, the minor league Potomac Nationals decided to honor him with a special promotion in 2013, minting a collectible figurine that depicts Roger as a half-man, half-shark hybrid, bounding out of the water to snatch a fly ball. However, Roger did not live up to his billing that summer, hitting a mere .178 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs in 85 games for the Nats. He was designated for assignment and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on August 21st.