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Hard work pays off for Washington Nationals’ prospect Jakson Reetz

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After MLB debut with Nationals, the veteran catcher is now at Double-A Harrisburg …

Surprise Saguaros v. Peoria Javelinas Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A minor leaguer since 2014 with the Nationals, catcher Jakson Reetz finally got the call to the major leagues in July.

With injuries to veterans Alex Avila and Yan Gomes (since traded to Oakland), Washington summoned Reetz on July 10 from Triple-A Rochester.

“It was great to see him get an opportunity in the big leagues,” Double-A Harrisburg manager Tripp Keister told Federal Baseball here on Friday before the Senators lost in 10 innings to the Bowie Baysox.

Reetz made his debut on July 10 at San Francisco and has one hit two at-bats this year with Washington.

He had a hit in his first at-bat with the Nationals, with a double in the ninth inning in his first game against the Giants in a 10-4 loss.

Reetz, 25, was a third-round pick out of his Nebraska high school in 2014 by the Nationals.

He is now with Harrisburg, where he has hit .202 in 60 games this season with the Senators through Friday.

With Rochester, he hit .152 in 11 games. For catchers, of course, defense comes first – or it should.

“He is a championship player,” said Keister, the former coach at Delaware State and a former player at the University of Delaware. “He has been a leader and works hard.”

“He works hard every day,” added Keister, a long-time instructor in the Washington system. “He has a strong arm.”

Keister said Harrisburg hasn’t done a very good job of holding on runners at times this year, which may be reflected in the numbers for Reetz on throwing out would-be base stealers.

Reetz started at catcher on Friday and hit sixth in the order for the Senators.

The other catcher on the roster this weekend is Dallas native Brady Lindsly, 23, a fourth-round pick of the Nationals last year out of Oklahoma.