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Washington Nationals’ prospect Cade Cavalli fit mold as Nats’ top pick...

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Pitcher from the University of Oklahoma is one of 11 right-handers taken in the first round by the Nationals since 2005, including Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen – and Lucas Giolito …

Washington Nationals Introduce Stephen Strasburg Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Cade Cavalli certainly fit the bill as a Nationals’ top draft pick this year – yet another right-handed pitcher taken by general manager Mike Rizzo and his staff.

Cavalli is a 6-foot-4 hurler and the past three top picks of the Nationals, including fellow righties Mason Denaburg and Jackson Rutledge, average around 6’5’’.

With no minor league season, Cavalli, 22, made his pro debut at the alternate site in Fredericksburg, Virginia this summer as part of the 60-player pool.

“Personally, I think it was the best thing that we could have had in this environment,” Cavalli said in a Zoom call with reporters in September.

“I mean, you face the same guys, and they’ve seen your stuff, so you’ve got to get creative.

“It’s like that when you got to the [big] league[s]. They’re going to see you a couple of times, got to get creative.

But the draft grade for Cavalli won’t come for another few years, when he is able to show if the investment was worth it.

The Nationals have taken a pitcher with their first pick in the last five drafts, and four of them have been right-handers.

Right-hander Dane Dunning, a sandwich pick at 29th overall in 2016, was selected after the the Nationals’ top pick that year, infielder Carter Kieboom, who was the 28th pick.

More so, Washington has picked a right-hander pitcher six times with its first or second choice since 2012 when Lucas Giolito went in the first round.

Overall, the Nationals have picked 11 right-handed pitchers in the first round since moving to the nation’s capital in 2005.

The includes 10th overall selection Drew Storen in 2009 – the same year Stephen Strasburg was first overall.

Here is a look at the first-round picks of the Nationals since 2005:

Ryan Zimmerman, 2005

School: Virginia

Position: Infielder

Draft: 4th overall

Current status: He opted out of the past season due to family health concerns.

Comment: He was part of the 2019 World Series title team – enough said; though Gold Glover at third has done a lot more.

Grade: A

Chris Marrero, 2006

School: High school in Florida

Position: Outfielder

Draft: 15th overall

Current status: Did not play

Comment: Played in 39 games for the Nats, starting in 2011; last played in majors for the Giants in 2017.

Grade: C-

Colten Williams, 2006

School: Florida high school

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 22nd overall

Current status: He last pitched in 2010 with Hagerstown, posting 9.49 ERA in five games.

Comment: Was 9-17, 4.00 with 1.402 WHIP in the minors; never got above the low Single-A South Atlantic League.

Grade: F

Ross Detwiler, 2007

Division Series - St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals - Game Four Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

School: Missouri State

Position: Left-handed pitcher

Draft: 6th overall

Current status: Had 3.20 ERA in 16 games out of the bullpen for the White Sox in 2020.

Comment: Pitched for the Nationals from 2007-14 and part of the rotation for much of that time.

Grade: B-

Aaron Crow, 2008

School: University of Missouri

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 9th overall

Current status: Last pitched in pro ball in 2018 in the Mexican League.

Comment: Was All-Star for the Royals in 2011 as a rookie; 254 games out of the bullpen in his career through 2014 for Kansas City with 3.43 ERA.

Grade: B-

Stephen Strasburg, 2009

School: San Diego State

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 1st overall

Current status: Pitched in just two games due to hand injury in 2020 for the Nationals.

Comment: Was World Series MVP in 2019.

Grade: A+

Drew Storen, 2009

School: Stanford

Position: Right-handed reliever

Draft: 10th overall

Current status: Pitched in the minors with the Royals in 2019.

Comment: Was closer for part of his career with Nationals, with 43 saves in 2011.

Grade: B

Bryce Harper, 2010

School: Junior college in Nevada

Position: Catcher in college, an outfielder in the pros

Draft: 1st overall

Current status: Led league in walks with 49 in 2020 with the Phillies – his second year with the team.

Comment: Broke in with Nats in 2012; now has career OPS of exactly .900 with 232 homers.

Grade: A+

Anthony Rendon, 2011

Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

School: Rice

Position: infielder

Draft: 6th overall

Current status: Third baseman hit nine homers in 52 games in his first season with the Angles in 2020.

Comment: His clutch, late-game at-bats in the postseason led Nats to a World Series title in 2019.

Grade: A

Alex Meyer, 2011

School: Kentucky

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 23rd overall

Current status: Last pitched in pro ball in 2017 in the Angels’ system; announced his retirement in 2019.

Comment: Traded to Twins by Nationals in 2012 for Denard Span, made MLB debut in 2015 with Minnesota.

Grade: C-

Lucas Giolito, 2012

Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Washington Nationals/Getty Images

School: California high school

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 6th overall

Current status: Developed into All-Star with the White Sox, threw a no-hitter in 2020.

Comment: Part of the trade that acquired outfielder Adam Eaton before the 2017 season; the grade will go higher if he produces in the long run.

Grade: B+

2013 – no first-round pick

Erick Fedde, 2014

School: UNLV

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 18th overall

Current status: Had 4.29 ERA this past season for the Nationals.

Comment: Is 8-11, 5.10 in 46 games with 34 starts in his MLB career with Washington.

Grade: C

2015 – no first-round pick

Carter Kieboom, 2016

School: High school in Georgia

Position: infielder

Draft: 28th overall

Current status: Hit .202 in 99 at-bats this past season for the Nationals.

Comment: the third baseman has three extra-base hits in 139 at-bats in majors in parts of two seasons.

Grade: incomplete, time will tell

Seth Romero, 2017

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals - Game Two Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

School: University of Houston

Position: Left-handed pitcher

Draft: 25th overall

Current status: made MLB debut this past season with the Nationals.

Comment: Pitched in three games in 2020 before injuring his non-throwing right hand; took part in Instructional League in October in Florida.

Grade: Incomplete

Mason Denaburg, 2018

School: Florida high school

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 25th overall

Current status: took part in Instructional League this year.

Comment: Made pro debut in 2019 in the Gulf Coast League with seven games and four starts.

Grade: Incomplete

Jackson Rutledge, 2019

School: Texas junior college

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 17th overall

Current status: Took part in 60-player pool and Instructional League this year.

Comment: Pitched at three levels in 2019, including 10 starts at low Single-A Hagerstown.

Grade: Incomplete

Cade Cavalli, 2020

2020 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

School: University of Oklahoma

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Draft: 22nd overall

Current status: Took part in the alternate site in Virginia and Instructional League this year.

Comment: Had the most unique entry into professional baseball than perhaps any first-round pick of the Nationals.

Grade: incomplete