Washington’s Nationals had five picks total on Day 2 of the 2020 MLB Draft, one in each of the four rounds, plus a comp pick after the second round, which they received after they made a qualifying offer to infielder Anthony Rendon, who ended up signing a 7-year/$245M free agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels this winter.
Here’s a quick look at the players Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office selected on Day 2 of the Draft, (after they’d selected right-hander Cade Cavalli out of the University Oklahoma with their top pick, No. 22 overall in the first round on Day 1). And keep in mind that starting on June 14th at 9:00 AM, MLB teams can sign any eligible, undrafted players for a maximum of $20,000 under the rules adopted by MLB for this season’s draft, which were altered in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Round 2 - No. 55 overall - RHP Cole Henry - LSU
- Round 2 Comp - No. 71 overall - SS Sammy Infante - Monsignor Edward Pace HS, FL
- Round 3 - No. 94 overall - RHP Holden Powell - UCLA
- Round 4 - No. 123 overall - C Brady Lindsly - Oklahoma
- Round 5 - No. 153 overall - LHP Mitchell Parker - San Jacinto College North
ROUND 2 - (No. 55) - RHP - Cole Henry- LSU:
Nationals’ Press Release Notes: Henry finished (2-1) with a 1.89 ERA (4 ER/19 innings) and 23 Ks in four starts for the Tigers in 2020, and was named to the 2020 Golden Spikes Award’s preseason watch list, after going (4-2) with a 3.39 ERA in 58 1⁄3 IP with 18 walks and 72 Ks as a freshman at LSU in 2019.
Cole Henry, Fastball and Curveball, Overlay (With Tails). pic.twitter.com/k1WBhp8fb3— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 8, 2020
“I think I kind of like to model my game — not really after anyone. I think I’m kind of unique in my own way. I consider myself a competitor. I really like to compete. Challenge hitters. I don’t like to give anything away. Really just like to go out there and give my team the best change to win and just compete until coach comes to get the ball from me.” - Cole Henry on models for his approach on the mound.
Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline on Cole Henry:
“The Friday night starter at LSU. Really good delivery. Command guy, big fastball that touches 97. He’s got life down in the zone. He shows the makings of a plus curveball. For Cole I think he has the ability to spin it, he needs to learn how to commit to each one. And I feel it could be an above-average pitch. The changeup is above-average now.
“It’s just a solid overall package. I see him as a quality No. 3 with the potential to be a [No. 2 starter].”
ROUND 2 COMP - (No. 71) - SS - Sammy Infante - Monsignor Edward Pace HS, FL:
Nationals’ Press Release Notes: Infante, 18, hit .481, going 13 for 27 with four doubles, one home run, six walks, and three strikeouts, prior to the cancellation of the 2020 season.
“I believe I’m going to go play pro ball with the Nationals. I think I’m ready. I’m healthy. I think they got a huge steal ... I think I’m a great steal for them and I can impact their organization significantly in the infield position.” - Sammy Infante on commitment to the University of Miami/planning to sign with the Nationals.
Nationals’ Director of Scouting Operations Eddie Longosz on Infante:
“He’s a phenomenal athlete too. This is going to be great to add with our mix of [Trea] Turner, obviously, [Carter] Kieboom, and [Luis] Garcia, so it’s another phenomenal addition for our minor league system to work with. He’s got strength in his swing. Body is amazing, but he’s got raw power right now too.”
Kline on Infante:
“Lean, athletic, defined body. Twitchy. He’s got a high motor. High energy guy. Loves to play, you can tell. He’s always smiling. Just so much energy on the field, it was fun watching him. He has a good chance to stay at shortstop.”
“He can throw. He’s a solid/average runner. He’s got a really good first step. His hands are really very good. He’s got a good feel to hit and there’s some power in there.”
ROUND 3 - (No. 94) - RHP/Closer - Holden Powell - UCLA:
Nationals’ Press Release Notes: Powell recorded three saves with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER/9 1⁄3 IP) and 20 Ks in 2020; was named a Second-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, and he recorded 65 Ks, with 17 saves and a .121 opponents’ AVG during sophomore season in 2019.
“In terms of the stuff, I think being a good closer just takes a certain mentality. It’s an attack-first mentality.
“It’s oftentimes a team-first mentality, really. You’ve got to do whatever you need to do to get those last three outs and to get the win.
“But obviously the stuff does matter. I just think sometimes with the closer it’s just you’ve got to go out there and get it any way you can. You can’t be worried about certain pitches and all that kind of stuff.
“I think you’ve just got to do anything you can to get those last three outs, because you know like the old saying, the last three outs are the toughest, for sure.” - Holden Powell on stuff/closer mentality.
Kline on Powell:
“Holden Powell is the closer at UCLA. This is present stuff with command. Very aggressive approach. Fastball is anywhere from 93-97, again, with life ...
“He’s got a present, above-average slider, so he’s got an out pitch. He’s got a changeup, he doesn’t use it that much. He doesn’t really need it right now. I think he’s in the role he’s always going to be in, and I think he’s going to have a lot of success in that role.”
ROUND 4 - (No. 123) - C - Brady Lindsly - Oklahoma:
Nationals’ Press Release Notes: Lindsly put up a .271 AVG (16 for 59) with two doubles, a triple, three home runs, 13 RBIs, six walks, and 10 runs scored over 14 games during his senior season. Prior to the 2020 season, Lindsly was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team.
Extremely excited to be a part of the @Nationals organization!! I can’t thank my family and coaches enough for all the guidance leading me to this point!— Brady Lindsly (@brady_lindsly) June 12, 2020
“I was just shocked, honestly. I thought I was looking at the free agent thing the whole way. When I got the call I was just speechless.
“I heard about it when they called and said they were going to take me about seven picks before, and the draft has never moved slower. Oh my goodness. I was just [itching] to hear it. I just heard my name and just folded.”
“I’m extremely blessed and thankful and just, I just never expected it. Extremely happy with the Nationals, obviously, and the confidence that they have in me.
“I’m just speechless, honestly. I just never saw this coming and it’s a dream come true.” - Brady Lindsly on being surprised he got drafted after expecting to have to try to sign as a FA.
Kline on Lindsly:
“Lindsly is a left-handed hitting catcher. He’s an average receiver. He’s got a solid-average arm. It’s a loose, left-handed swing.
“Great makeup character kid, strong body, and we’re glad to have him in the system as well.”
ROUND 5 - (No. 153) - LHP - Mitchell Parker - San Jacinto College North:
Nationals’ Press Release Notes: Mitchell Parker, 20, and a sophomore from San Jacinto (TX) College, went 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA (4 ER/30 1⁄3 IP) with 64 strikeouts and 18 walks in six starts in 2020.
Kline on Parker:
“Left-handed pitcher at San Jac Junior College in Houston.
“It’s a funky, unconventional delivery, mechanics, it’s deceptive, it’s overhand slot. It’s 90-97, but he’s going to pitch around 92-93. And he’s got an above-average curveball.
“Right now he commands the curveball better than the fastball, you know, a little fine-tuning with the delivery...”