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Strange year helped Washington Nationals land Virginia Tech pitcher Zach Brzykcy

Zachary Brzykcy has ‘bulldog mentality” in Instructional League, according to Nationals’ farm director …

Photo © and courtesy Virginia Tech Strategic Communications.

WASHINGTON – Scouting and player development offices of Major League teams had to be creative this year, thanks in part to the pandemic, a draft that just lasted five rounds, and no minor league season.

The Nationals feel good about the players they picked this past summer. But the franchise is also happy with non-drafted free agents and that includes right-handed pitcher Zachary Brzykcy out of Virginia Tech.

“It was a really interesting process,” assistant general manager, player development Mark Scialabba told Federal Baseball. “It was really different this year with the draft only going five rounds” after lasting 40 in 2019.

“You have to give credit to our scouts and player development staff to help that process and bring Zach to the Nationals.”

The native of North Carolina turned down a chance to play for the Hokies as a senior and decided to sign with the Nationals.

He was a closer for part of his college career and worked out this summer with Sam Narron, a fellow North Carolina resident who was slated to be the pitching coach of Double-A Harrisburg in Washington’s system.

While he was no part of the 60-player pool like first-round pick Cade Cavalli, the Virginia Tech product has been in Florida this month as part of the Instructional League roster. He pitched on Thursday in an intrasquad game.

“We feel like we got a little bit of a steal,” Scialabba said. “He has a power arm; he has a slider and curve as well he can go to any time. We love the bulldog mentality.”

Brzykcy was signed by Bobby Myrick, a long-time Nationals’ scout who lives in Colonial Heights, Virginia.

He also signed NDFA Quade Tomlin this summer, a high school infielder from Lynchburg, Virginia who turned down a scholarship to Division I Liberty.

Brzykcy told Federal Baseball that the uncertainty of college baseball for 2021 played a part in his decision to turn pro.

“Obviously my family was really happy,” said Brzykcy, who had three saves for Virginia Tech in 2019 and then pitched in seven games out of the bullpen in the short 2020 season.

“I am happy I will be playing baseball instead of sitting at home.”