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Washington Nationals’ prospect countdown: No. 19 - Sammy Infante

Infielder and high school draft pick came to Instructional League with something to prove, says Assistant GM…

Screencap via @MLBPipeline on Twitter.

[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 – The Nationals may be a little thin on infield depth in the minor leagues, and Sammy Infante could be a long-term solution, though he just began his pro career.

The shortstop was the 71st pick overall in 2020, taken in the 2nd Round out of Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, FL.

“Lean, athletic, defined body. Twitchy,” Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline said on the night of the 2020 Draft. “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 ... 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.”

Infante made his pro debut in 2021 as he hit .215 in 37 games in the Florida Complex League.

“He was in his first full-season; he came to Instructional League with a chip on his shoulder,” assistant general manager, player personnel Mark Scialabba told Federal Baseball earlier this month. “He is a new class of high school kids; he has arm strength to play on the left side of the infield.”

Infante turned 20 in June and is from Miami Gardens, Florida.

Another infielder who signed out of high school was Quade Tomlin, who signed in 2020 after the draft lasted just five rounds. He played in high school in Lynchburg, Virginia, and is the son of Randy Tomlin, a former pitcher for the Pirates and a one-time pitching coach in the minors for Washington.

The younger Tomlin was not invited to Instructional League, according to Scialabba, after he hit .100 in 60 at-bats in his pro debut in 2021 in the Florida Complex League.

Another Virginia player, pitcher Zachary Brzycky out of Virginia Tech, was also not at Instructional League as the Nationals try to manage his workload.

He was 6-4 with an ERA of 5.20 in 28 games with one start for high Single-A Wilmington this past season as he threw 62.1 innings.

“He did a great job this year,” Scialabba said. “He learned a lot about professional baseball. I thought he had a really good year. He has tremendous upside in a relief role for us.”

Previous - No. 20 - Jackson Cluff; Next: No. 18 - Riley Adams