WASHINGTON – Instructional League took on added meaning this fall for the Nationals as their draft picks got the first taste of pro ball since there was no minor-league season.
And that included 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher Holden Powell, who is from Visalia, CA, and turned 21 in September.
Brad Holman, the pitching coordinator in player development, said one approach was to allow pitchers to follow what had made them effective as amateur players.
“Let them pitch and let them get their legs under them,” Holman told Federal Baseball at the end of instructs. “That is what we did in this Instructional League.”
Powell was a freshman at UCLA in 2018 and then spent that summer with Newport, Rhode Island in the New England Collegiate League – a wood bat circuit.
After his sophomore year for the Bruins in 2019, he played in the Cape Cod League for Cotuit.
Powell then pitched in eight games out of the bullpen for UCLA this past spring before the season was called off.
He was 6-4, 2.26 in 77 games with 26 saves in his college career for UCLA.
Justin Lord, slated to be the Single-A pitching coach for Fredericksburg in 2020, got to see Powell for the first time at instructs.
“I watched him in his bullpen and the one outing he had,” Lord told Federal Baseball.
“He has a live arm with a good slider; just has the ability to come in and get guys out. He pitched at a big college in high-leverage situations.”
Next: 2020 2nd-round pick Cole Henry