Samuel Thomas Hunter Clay...Graduated from Buford High School in Buford, Georgia...Attended Georgia Tech...Went 6-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 54 appearances in two seasons at Georgia Tech...As a sophomore in 2014 posted a 1.26 ERA, the second-best single-season mark in school history...Signed with the Nationals in Nov. 2020 after seven seasons in Minnesota’s system...Will be under team control for six years...Did not allow a home run in 2019 and has surrendered just one home run in 188.2 innings pitched (122 games) since the start of the 2017 season...Has tossed more than 1.0 inning in 91 of his 151 career relief outings.
Was a member of Minnesota’s 60-Player Pool, but did not appear in a Major League game.
Divided the season between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Rochester, posting a combined 4-4 record and 3.25 ERA (69.1 IP, 25 ER), with 72 strikeouts, 28 walks and 10 saves in 45 appearances (1 start)...his 45 appearances tied for most among Twins minor league pitchers, while his 10 saves tied for third and his 22 games finished ranked third...Did not allow a homer in 69.1 innings pitched all season and has allowed only six longballs in 405.1 innings since his pro debut on June 20, 2014...his 0.13 HR/9 since 2014 is the lowest rate among all minor league pitchers in that span (min. 400.0 IP).
Played the entire season with Double-A Chattanooga...went 2-6 with a 5.88 ERA (52.0 IP, 34 ER) in 34 games (1 start), with 36 walks and 61 strikeouts...missed time April 18-27 with left shoulder inflammation, his first career IL stint...28 of his 34 appearances lasted more than 1.0 inning.
Began the season with Single-A Cedar Rapids...went 5-0 with a 2.18 ERA (33.0 IP, 8 ER), 18 walks and 36 strikeouts in 21 first-half appearances...named to the Florida State League Midseason All-Star team...transferred to Double-A Chattanooga August 7 and made three appearances before transferring back August 22...finished the season with the lowest opponent average (.190) among Florida State League relievers...recorded a 0.56 ERA (32.0 IP, 2 ER) over his final 20 appearances with the Miracle...six of his 11 earned runs allowed with the Miracle came in his first appearance on April 7 (0.2 IP).
Began the season with Single-A Cedar Rapids...named Kernels Pitcher of the Month in April after going 2-0, 0.79 ERA in four starts...went 3-1, 1.10 ERA in first seven starts on the season...set a career high with nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings on May 6 and matched it on July 29 (5.0 IP)... named a Midwest League Midseason All-Star...transferred to Single-A Ft. Myers July 7...tossed first career complete game July 22, going 6.0 innings in a rain-shortened loss to Clearwater...rated as having the best curveball in the Twins organization by Baseball America following the season.
Began the season with Single-A Cedar Rapids...made nine relief appearances before being transferred to Rookie-Elizabethton May 18... made three relief appearances, was put in the rotation and made seven starts for the E-Twins...transferred back to Cedar Rapids August 26 and made three starts for the Kernels to end the season.
Began his professional career with Elizabethton...tied for the team lead with 19 appearances...posted a 13.66 K/9.0 IP rate...finished the season with eight scoreless appearances (16.0 IP), allowing just 12 hits and five walks while striking out 23.