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Washington Nationals’ prospect countdown: No. 9 - Cole Henry

Right-handed pitcher performed well in the Arizona Fall League …

MLB: Washington Nationals-Media Day USA TODAY NETWORK

[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 – A right-handed pitcher from LSU certainly aided his stock in the Nationals’ system while performing in the Arizona Fall League earlier this year.

Cole Henry, drafted by Washington in the second round in 2020, was limited to 11 games and 10 starts during the minor league season in 2021 due to elbow soreness.

He showed his potential by fanning 10 batters against Jersey Shore in May in his second start of the season.

Henry returned to high Single-A Wilmington in August and ended the season with the Blue Rocks by posting an ERA of 2.30 with an impressive 70 strikeouts in 40 innings.

The Alabama native, who turned 22 in July, headed to Arizona and he was 1-0 with an ERA of 3.32 in 19 innings while pitching for manager Mario Lisson, who held the same post for Single-A Fredericksburg this past year.

Henry played for Surprise, and that team lost in the AFL title game on Nov. 20.

“He has been outstanding here, with his two-seam and four-seam fastballs. His curveball has taken a new shape since he came back from his injury. His changeup is his go-to pitch; it has good sink and fade to it. He is a fiery competitor and leaves it all out there,” former farm director and current Assistant GM, Player Personnel Mark Scialabba told Federal Baseball from Arizona in early November.

Another pitcher with Surprise was Washington prospect Jackson Rutledge, who fanned seven batters in the title game.

“He is doing well. He is learning how to pitch,” Scialabba said in early November. “He didn’t have the regular season he wanted. He is starting to command his two-seam fastball. The change has good late sink and fade. We are happy with the fact he is learning how to pitch.”

Previous: No. 10 - Mason Thompson; Next: No. 8 - Armando Cruz