WASHINGTON – The Major League draft was just five rounds this summer due to the pandemic and that meant the Nationals and other teams were not able to get many recent high school seniors into the pro feeder system.
But one of them who now is playing for Washington is middle infielder Quade Tomlin, a product of the prep program at Liberty Christian in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Tomlin turned down a chance to play at Division I Liberty University to sign with the Nationals this summer as a non-drafted free agent.
Liberty Christian’s Quade Tomlin, one of the best sluggers in the Lynchburg area, has decided to turn pro and forgo a college career, signing a contract with the Washington Nationals on Monday night. https://t.co/5OdcrGCKc7— NewsAdvance.com (@newsadvance) July 1, 2020
He reported recently to West Palm Beach and the Instructional League program in Florida.
Tomlin was one of the top prep players in the state in 2019 and then had his senior year cut short due to COVID-19 concerns. He is the son of former Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher Randy Tomlin, a former minor league pitching coach with the Nationals who coached his son in high school.
The scout that signed the younger Tomlin is Bobby Myrick, a graduate of Petersburg High in Virginia.
“I have known him since he was a baby,” Myrick told Federal Baseball of Quade Tomlin. “I scouted his dad when he pitched (for Liberty). I have known the family for a long time. I was going to Lynchburg Christian and Liberty University and seeing him a lot. Some of it was by accident. I knew him personally, I watched his progress.”
The #Nationals announced a group of 9 UDFAs, including two players we previously didn't have on the tracker: RHP Zach Brzykcy (pronounced Brick-see) and SS Quade Tomlin. Brzykcy was a BA 500 guy: https://t.co/1VZ7HkhSqi— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) July 1, 2020
“Quade is a fine Christian; he has great makeup,” Myrick added. “Needless to say he is a middle infielder who happens to be a left-handed hitter. He is just 18. His time is coming. His work ethic is very good. We have good development people that will bring him along. His mom and dad did a good job of raising him.”
One of the top infield instructors for the Nationals is Jeff Garber, a former shortstop at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. He was at the alternate camp in Fredericksburg this summer and is among the instructors this month in Florida.
Randy Tomlin was drafted out of Liberty by the Pirates in the 18th round in 1988. The lefty broke into the majors two years later and was 30-31, 3.43 in 106 games in his career.
He started game 4 of the NLCS in 1991 for the Pirates at Atlanta in a game the Pirates won 3-2 as Tomlin went six innings and allowed just two runs but did not figure in the decision.
The elder Tomlin was a pitching coach at Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in the Washington system before returning to Virginia and becoming a prep coach.
“He knows what is going on,” Myrick said of Quade Tomlin. “His mom and dad did a great job of raising him.”