Washington Nationals’ 2020 MLB Draft pick Sammy Infante told reporters, after the Nats took him with the compensation pick they received for losing Anthony Rendon via free agency this winter, that in spite of a commitment to the University of Miami, he thought he’d sign on with the defending World Series champions.
“I believe I’m going to go play pro ball with the Nationals,” the 18-year-old infielder (who’ll turn 19 next week) said.
“I think I’m ready. I’m healthy,” he added, while noting that he thought the club got a steal when they picked him with the 71st overall selection.
“I think they got a huge steal,” Infante said.
“I think I’m a great steal for them and I can impact their organization significantly in the infield position.”
Miami Herald writer Walter Villa spoke to Infante for an article this past Monday about how he ended up getting picked in the compensation round which followed the second round of the draft.
“The slot value for selection No. 71 was [$844,200],” Villa reported, “... but Infante said the Nationals agreed to pay him “$300,000 over slot.”
“At pick No. 55, the Washington Nationals called Infante. But when the sides could not agree on the amount of the signing bonus, an impasse occurred.”
The Nats took reliever Cole Henry with their second round pick, at No. 55, and when their comp pick came up, they reached out to Infante again and came to an agreement.
“Infante was selected after the bonus offer was increased.”
According to a report from Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty on Friday afternoon, the infielder and his new club reached a deal, after the Nationals signed their fourth and fifth round picks to below slot deals this past week.
Small correction here: The Nationals took Sammy Infante with the comp pick they received for Anthony Rendon, not in the third round. But he was the third player they selected in the draft last week. https://t.co/VtDNAZvW7B— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) June 19, 2020
Infante went 13 for 27 (.481 AVG) at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Florida, hitting four doubles and one home run, with six walks, before the coronavirus pandemic brought an end to his senior year.
Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline offered the following scouting report on the infielder after Round 2 of the Draft.
“Lean, athletic, defined body,” Kline said. “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.”
“He’s a phenomenal athlete too,” Director of Scouting Operations Eddie Longosz added.
“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.”