WASHINGTON – The 2019 draft might end up being one of the last ones to go so many rounds - 40.
That year, before the pandemic hit and baseball shut down in March 2020, the Nationals took four pitchers among their first six selections: Jackson Rutledge, Matt Cronin, Tyler Dyson, and Todd Peterson.
Peterson, a seventh-round pick out of LSU, will be among the Washington prospects who will be with Surprise in the Arizona Fall League this year.
In two games with the team in the Florida Complex League, he was 1-0 with an ERA of 1.80 this past year.
Peterson also pitched in 18 games, with three starts, for Wilmington and was 1-1 with an ERA of 4.15.
Overall, he was 2-1, 3.82 in 35.1 innings with 36 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.25.
“It was different,” the right-hander told reporters of his draft day experience.
“We had practice that day later in the afternoon just for the fact that we had a couple guys that were going to get drafted.
“And for me, just kind of sitting there being patient, letting the draft go on and just trusting the process, you know, just letting things work out.”
After seeing three of his LSU teammates get drafted, it was Peterson’s turn in 2019.
Other LSU products drafted by the Nationals before him were Cole Freeman and Andrew Stevenson.
“I knew that all it needed to take was one team that was high on me and one team that really believed in me and bought in,” Peterson said of his thought process during the draft.
“I’m thankful that it was the Washington Nationals and I’m really blessed with the opportunity I’ve got.”
That Surprise staff will include Rutledge, the first-round pick out of a San Jacinto junior college in Texas in 2019.
The manager will be Mario Lisson, who was the manager of low Single-A Fredericksburg this past year in the Washington system.
Other prospects with the Nationals who will be with Surprise – which began the season Wednesday – include pitchers Rutledge, Cole Henry, catchers Drew Millas and Israel Pineda, infielder Jackson Cluff, and outfielder Donovan Casey.
Casey was named the defensive player of the year in the Nationals’ farm system on Tuesday.
He came to Washington in the trade with the Dodgers in late July for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
Casey went 1 for 5 with four Ks in his 2021 AFL debut. Henry tossed 2 2⁄3 scoreless innings in relief walking one and striking out 6 of the 9 batters he faced.