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Washington Nationals’ prospect countdown: No. 21 - Drew Mendoza

The infielder from Florida State, after a rough season, changed his stance in Instructional League …

Houston Astros v Washington Nationals Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

[ed. note - “With interest in the Washington Nationals’ farm system at a high level, Federal Baseball has begun a series featuring the top 30 prospects in the system as of late last season, according to Baseball America. We will start with No. 30 and work our way to the top over the next few weeks, with one prospect highlighted each weekday.”]

WASHINGTON – It is not too late for Drew Mendoza to turn things around.

But the Florida State product had to make some adjustments at the plate after a rough offensive season in the minors in 2021.

The No. 21 prospect in the system, according to Baseball America late in the season, made some changes while in Florida during the Instructional League earlier this fall, after playing for high Single-A Wilmington and Double-A Harrisburg this past year.

“He finished with us in Instructional League,” Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel, Mark Scialabba, told Federal Baseball earlier this fall while at the Arizona Fall League.

“We tried to leverage his frame with a new approach. He is a big, strong guy with power potential. He has a good eye for understanding the strike zone. We want him to attack the ball in certain parts of the strike zone. He made strides in Instructional League. On defense, he is working on his craft at first base. We tweaked his stance – we want him to stand up a little bit more in his approach.”

Mendoza was drafted in the third round in 2019 by Washington out of Florida State.

He played for Single-A Hagerstown that year, hitting .264 in 55 games with four homers and 25 RBIs.

He was then was part of the alternate site roster for part of the time in Fredericksburg last year.

Mendoza began 2021 with Senators at Double-A and hit just .160 in 34 games.

He was then sent to Delaware, where he batted .225 with five homers in 70 games with the Blue Rocks.

Mendoza may get another shot at Double-A Harrisburg in 2022, though perhaps not at the start of the year.

Previous: No. 21 - Israel Pineda; Next: No. 20 SS Jackson Cluff