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Washington Nationals’ prospect countdown: No. 13 - Matt Cronin

Reliever from the University of Arkansas appeared at three levels in 2021 …

2021 Washington Nationals Photo Day Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via 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 – Matt Cronin, a pitcher out of the University of Arkansas, was one of the few players from the draft class of 2019 that was able to take part in the alternate site in Fredericksburg in 2020 when the pandemic called off the season in the minors.

Others from the 2019 Hagerstown Suns’ roster who took part at the alternate site were pitchers Nick Wells and Tim Cate, who was in the rotation at Double-A Harrisburg in 2021, and infielders Jackson Cluff and Drew Mendoza.

Cluff certainly helped his stock in the Arizona Fall League this year while Mendoza struggled offensively in the minors in 2021.

As for Cronin, the alternate site experience was a plus.

“It was a little bit of an adjustment at first, just facing more seasoned hitters, guys who knew the zone a little better and are used to seeing higher quality stuff, and I was struggling just attacking hitters when I first got here, but after the adjustment was made I’ve been performing well and it’s been a good time,” Cronin told Federal Baseball in 2020.

The reliever from Florida – a fourth-round pick by the Nationals in 2019 – appeared at three levels this past season in Washington’s system.

He was 2-0 with an ERA of 2.25 in three games in the Florida Complex League, where he played for Richmond native and manager Jake Lowery.

Cronin was 2-0, 1.23 in 10 games for high Single-A Wilmington and then was 0-1, 5.56 in 10 games under skipper Tripp Keister with Double-A Harrisburg.

His goal is to get to the majors as soon as possible.

“I think it should be a goal for everyone,” Cronin said in 2020. “I think everyone should want to get there as soon as possible and especially with the position I am coming out of college as a reliever and sticking as a reliever in pro ball I think I have a chance to move quickly and so that is my goal.”

Previous: No. 14 - Donovan Casey; Next: No. 12 OF Jeremy De La Rosa