[ed. note - “With interest in the Nationals’ farm system at a high level, Federal Baseball has begun a series featuring the top 30 prospects in Washington’s organization 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 – Justin Lord was impressed when he saw Holden Powell at Instructional League last year.
“I watched him in his bullpen and the one outing he had,” Lord told Federal Baseball.
“He has a live arm with a good slider; just has the ability to come in and get guys out. He pitched at a big college in high-leverage situations.”
Lord was the pitching coach for Single-A Wilmington this past season while injuries limited Powell to four games, with one start. He pitched in three games with the one start for the Florida Complex League team then appeared in one game under Lord with the Blue Rocks.
Former pitching coordinator Brad Holman got an up-close look at Powell and Mitchell Parker this past season.
“Mitchell, we are stretching out to be a starter,” Holman told Federal Baseball this past season.
“Obviously, Powell is more of a reliever, so we are progressing his innings. Both of those guys, because of how recent they are to the organization, we are kind of going hands-off with them. Both of them have been showing really well.”
Powell went on the 7-day Injured List in May while with Wilmington.
On July 13, he began a rehab assignment with the Florida Complex League squad under manager Jake Lowery, a Richmond native and a catcher in the Nationals’ system at Double-A Harrisburg in 2019.
Powell went on the 60-Day Injured List in early August, which ended his season.
He threw just 4.2 innings this past year and had an ERA of 7.71 in the two stops on the Washington chain.
“It was a special moment for sure,” Powell told his hometown paper in Visalia, California when he was drafted by the Nationals in 2020. “It was obviously great. It was pretty stressful this past couple of days up until this moment. But when you hear your name called, you kind of just blackout. It was a great moment for me and my family and everyone who has helped me get here.”