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Washington Nationals’ 2020 Draft Class: Looking back at strange but productive draft

It was two years ago today that the Nationals picked Cade Cavalli, Cole Henry, and four others …

MiLB: APR 07 Rochester Red Wings at Toledo Mud Hens Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

WASHINGTON – It was two years ago today – June 10, 2020 – that Major League Baseball held its annual draft.

It was a strange one that went just five rounds, due mainly to the pandemic that wiped out much of the high school and college teams from around North America.

While it was a reduced draft, the Nationals got some big-time results and two years later those picks are paying dividends.

Here is a look at the 2020 draft class with minor-league stats through games of Wednesday:

Cade Cavalli

Cavalli went first overall as the 22nd pick out of the University of Oklahoma.

Considered the top pitching prospect with Washington, the right-hander is 3-3 with an ERA of 4.94 in eight starts this year at Triple-A Rochester under manager Matt LeCroy, a former catcher for the Twins and Nationals.

Cole Henry

This right-hander from LSU is turning heads.

Taken in the second round as the 55th pick overall, Henry was recently promoted from Double-A Harrisburg to Triple-A Rochester.

In his one start with the Red Wings, he did not allow a run in five innings.

In eight starts overall, he is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.63 this year after a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League.

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

“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.

Sammy Infante

An infielder taken as the 71st player overall, he played in Florida last season and hit .215 in 36 games.

The offense has improved with Single-A Fredericksburg this year.

After hitting three homers last year, he had 12 through Wednesday this season and was hitting .242 for the Virginia-based team.

He is part of a dynamic infield with Brady House, a first-round pick out of a Georgia high school last year by the Nationals.

Infante was drafted out of a Florida high school.

Fredericksburg ends a home series with Lynchburg, in the Cleveland system, on Sunday.

Holden Powell

A third-round pick out of UCLA, the right-hander was 0-0 with an ERA of 7.71 in four games with one start last year.

He split time between the Florida Complex team and Wilmington in 2021.

Powell has yet to pitch this season.

Brady Lindsly

A teammate of Cavalli in college, the Dallas native has been part of the catching corps for Double-A Harrisburg under skipper Tripp Keister.

Oklahoma at Texas Christian Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

He was hitting .238 with two homers in 84 at-bats through Wednesday.

Keister told Federal Baseball earlier this season he felt Lindsly was doing well and part of a strong catching unit with the Senators on City Island.

Harrisburg winds up a home series this weekend with Bowie, a farm team of the Orioles.

Mitchell Parker

Parker was taken in the fifth round in 2020 out of a junior college in Texas.

The pitcher has also been impressive with a 3-0 mark and an ERA of 2.21 in his first nine starts for the Single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks.