WASHINGTON - Uncertainty has been a theme around sports and professional baseball this year.
And that is the case for Winter Leagues as well, but the Nationals have been able to place some minor league players in foreign countries that are playing on despite the pandemic this winter.
Mark Scialabba, assistant general manager, player development, informed Federal Baseball on Monday night of players who will be in Winter Leagues this year.
That list includes catcher and Texas native Tres Barrera (playing in the Dominican Republic), infielder Yasel Antuna (DR), outfielder Yadiel Hernandez (Mexico), and pitchers Joan Adon (DR), Joan Baez (DR), Steven Fuentes (Panama), and Jacob Condra-Bogan (Puerto Rico).
Barrera returns to action after serving a suspension from Major League Baseball earlier this year that he appealed.
Antuna played in the Gulf Coast League in 2019 while Adon pitched for low Single-A Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League.
Fuentes left Florida earlier this month and has already pitched in his native Panama.
“I faced him in Fredericksburg and down here in Instructional League,” infielder Jackson Cluff, who was drafted out of BYU last year and played at Hagerstown, told Federal Baseball on Monday. “He is a pretty polished pitcher.”
Hernandez, who fled Cuba, made his Major League debut for the Nationals on Sept. 10, then later in the month hit a walk-off homer at Nationals Park to beat the Phillies. He turned 33 on October 9.
Condra-Bogan was a 32nd round pick out of Georgia Southern in 2017 by Toronto, who didn’t sign with the Blue Jays, turning to independent ball before he was signed by Kansas City and eventually dealt by the Royals to the Nationals in July of 2018 in return for Brian Goodwin. He advanced to Double-A Harrisburg in the Washington system in 2019.
Brad Holman, the pitching coordinator in player development, told Federal Baseball earlier this month that the Nationals have scouts and other personnel in other countries to help monitor, for example, the workload of pitchers.
The Nationals have an intrasquad game on Tuesday and then players and staff will start heading home on Wednesday, Cluff said.