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  1. 1. Cade Cavalli | RHP
    Cade Cavalli
    Born: Aug 14, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 226
    Drafted: Oklahoma, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Jerad Head.

    Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Curveball: 55. Control: 50
    TRACK RECORD: After two seasons in a two-way role for Oklahoma, Cavalli focused on pitching as a junior in 2020. He quickly asserted himself as a first-round talent in a deep class of college pitchers. The former USA Baseball Collegiate National Team member already was a known commodity to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and the entire scouting community. Washington took him 22nd overall and signed him for $3.027 million. Cavalli fit right into a spot in the club’s 60-man player pool and impressed the big leaguers with his performance in a simulated game at Nationals Park before the start of the delayed major league season. Cavalli had back issues in high school and a stress reaction in his arm in college, but he was healthy all summer while adjusting to pitching every sixth day instead of once a week. One of his off-the-field interests has helped him get to know teammates better. He estimates he has given more than 500 haircuts.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Cavalli accurately described himself on draft night as a blend of power and pitchability. His fastball sits in the mid 90s with ease and touches 98 mph. More than just a thrower, he complements his heater with an array of impressive secondaries. His slider is a devastating offering at 87-90 mph with impressive tilt and gets swings and misses against both lefties and righties. His curveball is a hard downer that hitters don’t see well, and he can manipulate his changeup to throw it with diving action and either sink or run. He has an efficient delivery and elite makeup. As a former Big 12 Conference first baseman, he has plenty of athleticism and good body control. Cavalli’s father Brian was a catcher at Oklahoma and in the Angels’ system, so Cade has also seen the game from the other side of the battery. The reason he was still available at No. 22 overall is he got hit more in college than his raw stuff would suggest, in part because he lacks deception and his control can be erratic. The Nationals like the work Cavalli did with coach Skip Johnson and the rest of the Sooners staff, so any tweaks they’ve made have been minor. Cavalli has a strong work ethic and a desire to not just make the majors but to become a regular all-star.

    THE FUTURE: Cavalli logged more than 50 innings combined between the alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Va., and instructional league in Florida, so he should be ready to go in 2021. Health and control will dictate how fast he moves through the system.

  2. 2. Jackson Rutledge | RHP
    Jackson Rutledge
    Born: Apr 1, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'8" Wt.: 250
    Drafted: San Jacinto (Texas) JC, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Brandon Larson.

    Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Curveball: 50. Control: 50
    TRACK RECORD: The imposing, 6-foot-8 Rutledge hit 101 mph at San Jacinto (Texas) JC, where he became the fourth junior college player ever nominated as a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist. The Nationals drafted him 17th overall and signed him for $3.45 million. Rutledge then dominated hitters at three stops, culminating in the low Class A South Atlantic League in his pro debut. The Nationals brought him to their alternate training site in 2020.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Rutledge is an intimidating, aggressive pitcher with a high-90s fastball and a wipeout slider. Both are plus pitches that draw swings and misses, and he complements them with a curveball and changeup that are average, usable offerings. Rutledge stays tall on the mound and uses a compact arm action. The ball appears to come out of his shoulder and gets on hitters quickly with explosive life. He’s a decent athlete who improved in 2020 at slowing things down and pitching under control, helping him throw more strikes. Rutledge does a good job of holding baserunners. He prides himself on his craft and eagerly studies analytics.

    THE FUTURE: Rutledge benefited from facing more experienced hitters at the alternate site. He is part of the Nationals’ future rotation plans and may see the upper minors in 2021.

  3. 3. Cole Henry | RHP
    Cole Henry
    Born: Jul 15, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 214
    Drafted: Louisiana State, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Brandon Larson.

    Fastball: 60. Changeup: 55. Curveball: 50. Control: 50
    TRACK RECORD: Henry touched 97 mph in high school but fell to the 38th round due to his strong commitment to Louisiana State. He became the Tigers’ Friday night starter immediately as a freshman and was off to another excellent start in 2020 before the season shut down. The Nationals drafted the eligible sophomore in the second round, No. 55 overall, and signed him for $2 million.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Henry is a big, physical righthander with power stuff. His plus four-seam fastball sits at 94 mph and touches 97. He also has a two-seamer with solid sink in the mid 90s. Henry’s curveball flashes the depth and power to be an above-average pitch as a top-to-bottom, 12-to-6 offering. His fading changeup has flashed plus as well. Henry flashes premium stuff, but it’s not consistent and he has outings where he can’t put hitters away. He struggles to land his secondaries in the strike zone, allowing batters to sit on his fastball and drive it. Henry is a fiery competitor who goes right after hitters. The Nationals are excited about the tall pitcher’s frame and how his arm works.

    THE FUTURE: Henry took part in instructional league and should open next year in full-season ball. How quickly he harnesses his command will determine how fast he rises.

  4. 4. Yasel Antuna | SS
    Yasel Antuna
    Born: Oct 26, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Drafted: Dominican Republic, 2016.
    Signed By: Pablo Arias.

    Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Run: 50. Fielding: 45. Arm: 50.
    TRACK RECORD: Antuna struggled with injuries after signing for $3.85 million in 2016, but he accrued hundreds of reps at the alternate training site against upper-level pitchers in 2020. He hit 11 home runs during one two-week period and showed arguably the best hitting ability and power potential in the Nationals’ system.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Clear from the Tommy John surgery and leg injuries that kept him off the field for nearly two years, Antuna showed what he can do when healthy. The switch-hitter has plus bat speed, a relaxed approach and a repeatable swing from both sides of the plate. He hits home runs to all fields from both sides and has no problem catching up to upper-90s velocity. He has among the best strike-zone judgment in the system and an advanced two-strike approach. He also showed improved ability to recognize and hit offspeed pitches. Antuna’s future positional home is up for question. He has improved his footwork and exchanges around second base to give him a better chance to stay in the middle infield. He’ll remain a shortstop for now but may move to a corner as he gets bigger.

    THE FUTURE: Antuna’s bat gives him a chance to move up the system quickly as long as he stays healthy. His fantastic summer gives him a chance to see the upper minors in 2021.

  5. 5. Andry Lara | RHP
    Andry Lara
    Born: Jan 6, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 180
    Drafted: Venezuela, 2019.
    Signed By: Ronald Morillo.

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 50
    TRACK RECORD: Lara was the Nationals’ top signing in the 2019 international class and received a $1.25 million bonus. He was set to make his debut in 2020, but was delayed after the coronavirus pandemic canceled the minor league season. Lara spent the summer working out at the Nationals’ facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., and impressed the strength and conditioning staff with his dedication in the weight room. He showed the same dedication in the classroom and completed the club’s Rosetta Stone language program.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Lara is a 6-foot-5 righthander who throws his 92-96 mph fastball downhill with little effort. He has a quick arm and still has room to get stronger and add more velocity to his fastball. His slider is developing and shows the potential to be a swing-and-miss pitch. He also shows a feel for a nascent sinking changeup. Lara has a big frame he will have to maintain, but he has generally been a solid-strike thrower to this point in his career.

    THE FUTURE: After experience in instructional leagues in both the United States and the Dominican Republic, Lara may jump straight to low Class A as an 18-year-old. He has the potential to be a solid starter and shows the aptitude to move quickly for his age.

  6. 6. Jeremy De La Rosa | OF
    Jeremy De La Rosa
    Born: Jan 16, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 160
    Drafted: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Modesto Ulloa.

    Hitting: 50. Power: 55. Run: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.
    TRACK RECORD: The Nationals signed de la Rosa for $300,000 in 2018 and challenged him by skipping him over the Dominican Summer League. He showed enough promise to get tested again in 2020 when he made Washington’s 60-man player pool and competed well against upper-level minor leaguers at the alternate training site. He hit a couple of the longest home runs to center field of anyone in camp at the new ballpark in Fredericksburg, Va.

    SCOUTING REPORT: De la Rosa has already learned how to get into a good hitting position. He gets on plane early and looks to drive the ball on a line. Like several young hitters in the system, he has taken to imitating National League batting champion Juan Soto’s two-strike approach. De la Rosa has juice in his bat and can hit high-velocity fastballs to all fields. He has made progress at laying off breaking balls out of the strike zone. He’s a plus athlete who looks like an NFL wide receiver when he runs down fly balls. He’s capable of playing all three outfield positions.

    THE FUTURE: Though de la Rosa has yet to play in a full-season league, he showed in 2020 that he’s not afraid of facing older competition. With his bat speed and his power, he has a chance to be an impact hitter.

  7. 7. Tim Cate | LHP
    Tim Cate
    Born: Sep 30, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185
    Drafted: Connecticut, 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: John Malone.

    Fastball: 45. Changeup: 55. Curveball: 60. Control: 55
    TRACK RECORD: The lefthanded Cate had Tommy John surgery in high school but was so eager to continue playing that he pitched with his right arm. He went on to set UConn’s career strikeout record and was drafted in the second round, No. 65 overall, by the Nationals in 2018. Cate went out and won the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year award in 2019, then spent 2020 at the alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Va.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Cate is undersized but has shown moxie at each level he’s pitched. He maintains a consistent effort level and has a smooth delivery. By moving the ball to all quadrants of the strike zone, he’s able to stay away from hitters’ barrels. That’s important because his fastball is a fringy offering that lives in the 89-90 mph range. It plays up some with his ability to cut and sink it. Cate’s curveball is his signature pitch as a hammer in the low 80s that he has an exceptional feel to command. His changeup made great strides at the alternate site and began flashing above-average. Cate is an excellent strike-thrower who can locate his pitches to both sides of the plate.

    THE FUTURE: Cate is set to see the upper minors in 2021. He has a shot to make it as a back-of-the-rotation lefthander.

  8. 8. Eddy Yean | RHP
    Eddy Yean
    Born: Jun 25, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Modesto Ulloa.

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.
    TRACK RECORD: Yean was a projectable 180-pound righthander when he signed with the Nationals for $100,000 in 2017. He’s grown quite a bit since then, bulking up to 230 pounds with a muscular, linebacker-like build. He made his U.S. debut in 2019 and reached short-season Auburn, but he did not get to pitch in 2020 with the cancellation of the minor league season. He picked up where he left off with an impressive turn at instructional league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Yean is a big, powerful pitcher who is aggressive and still growing. He has an explosive fastball that sits in the mid 90s and touches 97 mph with late life. He throws both a four-seam fastball and a two-seamer to keep batters guessing which one they’ll see. Yean’s slider is a little slurvy at this point but gets swings and misses and shows above-average potential, especially if he is able to firm it up. His changeup is improving as well and could be an average pitch in time. Yean has a clean, three-quarters arm slot and a feel for making adjustments.

    THE FUTURE: Yean is still learning the details of pitching rather than throwing, but the Nationals are extremely high on his upside. He should be ready for a full-season assignment at age 19 in 2021.

  9. 9. Mason Denaburg | RHP
    Mason Denaburg
    Born: Aug 8, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 195
    Drafted: HS—Merritt Island, Fla., 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Alan Marr.

    Fastball: 60. Changeup: 50. Curveball: 55. Control: 45
    TRACK RECORD: Denaburg was one of the top high school pitchers in the 2018 draft but was limited to eight starts his senior year by biceps tendinitis. The Nationals took him 27th overall and signed him for $3 million. Injuries have limited Denaburg in pro ball. He had shoulder surgery after a disappointing 2019 season and dealt with tenderness in 2020 before the pandemic shutdown. He began throwing with fewer restrictions at the start of instructional league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: When healthy, Denaburg has a 91-94 mph fastball that touches 97. He didn’t show that velocity in his pro debut, but he impressed team officials with his progression during his recovery. Rehab pitching coordinator Mark Grater sent video to colleagues who say Denaburg has built up his body and is in the best shape he's been. Denaburg also has a high-spin, upper-70s curveball that shows above-average potential. His developing changeup has potential to be average. Denaburg is a good athlete who caught as well as pitched in high school and fields his position well. He has to prove he can get to fringe-average control.

    THE FUTURE: It all comes down to health for Denaburg. He’s thrown just 20 professional innings and needs development time to catch up.

  10. 10. Wil Crowe | RHP
    Wil Crowe
    Born: Sep 9, 1994
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 240
    Drafted: South Carolina, 2017 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Paul Faulk.

    Fastball: 50. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Curveball: 50. Control: 50
    TRACK RECORD: Crowe had Tommy John surgery as a South Carolina freshman but rebounded to become the Gamecocks’ ace by his junior year. The Nationals drafted him in the second round in 2017 and signed him for $946,500. Crowe won the high Class A Carolina League pitcher of the year award in 2018, when he went 11-0, 2.69 in 87 innings, jumped to Triple-A in 2019 and made his major league debut in 2020. He tested positive for COVID-19 and missed summer camp but recovered in time to make his first three major league starts.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Crowe didn’t trust his stuff in his first major league outings, but the Nationals believe he has a future as a possible No. 5 starter or relief option. Crowe’s fastball sits at 91-93 mph and touches 95. He can spin an average slider and curveball and shows the makings of a changeup with average potential, as well. Crowe’s stuff is all average, but he’s a tough competitor who has better command than he showed in his major league debut. He fell into too many deep counts and nibbled too much in his first taste of major league play.

    THE FUTURE: Crowe will get another shot at the majors in 2021. The Nationals are intrigued to see what he learned from facing adversity at the highest level.

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