WASHINGTON – The good news for Jake Noll was that he was named the Minor League Player of the Year in Washington’s system on October 12.
The bad news is that didn’t translate into an opportunity to show his hitting prowess at the major league level in 2021.
Noll, 27, a Florida native, was drafted in the seventh round in 2016 by the Nationals out of Florida Gulf Coast.
He was rarely rated as a top prospect on his way up the ladder, but the right-handed hitter made the Opening Day roster of the Nationals in 2019 when injuries hit the team among position players.
Our net caught a wild Jake Noll pic.twitter.com/JYtcBL7Ny3— Rochester Red Wings (@RocRedWings) May 27, 2021
“Best feeling of my life,” Noll, standing in front of his locker at Nationals Park early in the 2019 season, told this reporter in a story for a Florida paper.
“I texted my mom about it and she was thrilled. It is crazy.”
Noll hit .167 in 12 at-bats for Washington in 2019 while spending most of the season at Triple-A Fresno, where he hit .285 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs.
He hit .353 in 17 at-bats for the Nationals in 2020 as the pandemic wiped out the minor league season. Noll was part of the alternate site roster in Fredericksburg last year.
This year at Triple-A Rochester, he hit .300 with an OPS of .840, 17 homers, and 69 RBIs in 437 at-bats.
Down 2 runs with 2 runners on base.— Rochester Red Wings (@RocRedWings) August 28, 2021
10th pitch of the at-bat.
Take it away, Jake Noll! pic.twitter.com/P7fnNGWevl
Noll was also named a postseason all-star at the Triple-A level in 2021. He has the versatility to play infield and outfield and can also be used as an emergency catcher.
“I just have to stay prepared and be ready when name is called,” Noll said in 2019. “I work hard on it every day. I take fly balls in the outfield. It is not easy to be able to do that. I just have to stay prepared and be ready when my name is called.”
Jake Noll named Red Wings 2021 Team MVP!— Rochester Red Wings (@RocRedWings) October 2, 2021
Noll ranked in the top 5 in the league in hits (1st), total bases (4th), batting average (4th), extra-base hits (T-4th), RBI (5th), doubles (T-5th). pic.twitter.com/WPMBeRHVjX