[ed. note - “This is the second in a series looking at 2020 draft class. HERE’s the first.”]
WASHINGTON – The Nationals didn’t draft catcher Brady Lindsly in June because he was college teammates with pitcher Cade Cavalli, the first-round club pick of the club.
But it certainly didn’t hurt.
“Brady brings some experience with Cade but he also followed up well” after a short college season in the spring, said Mark Scialabba, assistant general manager, player development at the end of Instructional League.
“He is making adjustments with the bat. He works extremely hard.”
The Nationals have developed a nice pipeline to The University of Oklahoma.
Jake Irvin, a 6-6 right-handed pitcher from Minnesota, was taken by the Nationals in the fourth round in 2018. He pitched for low Single-A Hagerstown of the South Atlantic in 2019 and was on the Instructional League roster before having surgery recently, according to Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
One of the scout supervisors for the Nationals is Jimmy Gonzales, the Midwest crosschecker who gets credit for the signing of Irvin, Cavalli and Lindsly.
A Texas native, Lindsly hit .291 with five homers and 34 RBI in 51 games for the Sooners in 2019. This past spring he hit .271 in 14 games before the season ended early.
Other catchers at Instructional League were Geraldi Diaz, Mason Doolittle, Ivan Murzi, Wilmer Perez, Israel Pineda, and Ray Torres.
Pineda, also part of the 60-player pool this summer, is the only one of that group to reach the Single-A level at Hagerstown.
Another catcher, Jackson Reetz, 24, was a third-round pick in 2014 out of high school but spent all or part of 2017-19 at high Single-A Potomac and has yet to reach Double-A Harrisburg.
The two main catchers at the big league level in 2020 – Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki – are a combined 70 years of age.
“There is an opportunity” for young catchers, Scialabba noted. “We want to have a pipeline of prospects within the organization” at that spot.
Next: Pitcher Holden Powell, third round, UCLA.