WASHINGTON – Donovan Casey struck out 168 times in 123 games while playing for three minor league teams this past season.
But the Nationals are high enough on the native of New Jersey that he has been assigned to Surprise of the Arizona Fall League.
He was part of the package that Washington landed after trading Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers in late July, along with catcher Keibert Ruiz and right-handers Josiah Gray and Gerardo Carrillo.
“Donovan Casey made a smooth transition after the trade and impressed our staff with his aggressive style of play on both sides of the ball. He is a fearless defender with good instincts and a cannon for an arm. Offensively he hit the ground running hitting the ball to all fields and drove the ball to [right field] especially well early on,” assistant general manager, player development, Mark Scialabba wrote to Federal Baseball this past weekend.
Casey, 25, was drafted in the 20th round out of Boston College by the Dodgers in 2017.
Another Boston College product in the Nationals’ system is Jake Alu, a third baseman who was teammates with Casey at Double-A Harrisburg for part of the 2021 season.
Casey was with Double-A Tulsa at the time of the trade – he hit .296 there in 73 games.
After the trade, Casey played in 12 games for Harrisburg and hit .347.
Donovan Casey's walk-off in the ninth is an easy choice for PSECU Play of the Game. pic.twitter.com/dmjT202HyP— Harrisburg Senators (@HbgSenators) August 15, 2021
In August, he was promoted to Triple-A Rochester – where he struggled at the plate. Casey hit .179 in 38 games with the Red Wings.
Overall, the Sterling High (NJ) grad hit .269 in the minors this past season with 16 homers and 22 steals.
“After the promotion to the 3A level he was trying to do a little too much and focused on creating a more direct path to the hitting zone. Donovan possesses the bat speed, power, speed, and defensive skillset to help us going forward and the reps in the Arizona Fall League will provide him with another challenging environment to establish more consistency with his approach at the plate,” according to Scialabba.