The Nationals announced their 2021 Spring Training non-roster invites on Wednesday, with 32 players joining the team in West Palm Beach, Fla. The group ranges from the organization’s top prospects to returning veterans.
Looking at the club’s young talents, 10 of the Nationals' Top 30 Prospects (as ranked by MLB Pipeline) will be taking the next steps toward their big league careers, including the club's 2019 and ‘20 first-round Draft picks: right-hander Jackson Rutledge (No. 1 prospect, first round in '19), right-hander Cade Cavalli (No. 2, first round in '20), right-hander Cole Henry (No. 3), left-hander Tim Cate (No. 6), left-hander Matt Cronin (No. 8), first baseman Drew Mendoza (No. 9), catcher Israel Pineda (No. 12), right-hander Tyler Dyson (No. 15), shortstop Jackson Cluff (No. 18) and catcher Raudy Read (No. 26).
While several members of the 2019 World Series championship team went elsewhere this offseason in free agency, there are members of the title squad that will be back with the team in Florida. “Baby Shark” anthem originator Gerardo Parra is vying for an outfield spot after playing last season in Japan. Right-handers Aaron Barrett, Paolo Espino and Javy Guerra (all of whom took the mound for the Nats in '20) and infielder Adrían Sanchez also are among the NRIs.
Other veterans who have played for teams around the league and are looking to make Washington their newest home include southpaws Luis Avilán (nine years) and T.J. McFarland (eight years), infielders Jordy Mercer (nine years) and Hernán Pérez (nine years), catcher Blake Swihart (five years) and outfielder Yasmany Tomás (four years).
Pitchers and catchers will report for their first workout on Thursday, and the Nats will hold their first full-squad workout on Tuesday.
Below is a complete list of NRIs by position:
Right-handers: Aaron Barrett, Bryan Bonnell, Cade Cavalli, Jacob Condra-Bogan, Tyler Dyson, Tyler Eppler, Paolo Espino, Javy Guerra, Cole Henry, Gabe Klobosits, Todd Peterson, Jefry Rodriguez, Jackson Rutledge
Left-handers: Luis Avilán, Tim Cate, Matt Cronin, T.J. McFarland
Catchers: Welington Castillo, Israel Pineda, Jakson Reetz, Raudy Read, Brandon Snyder (utility), Blake Swihart (S)
Infielders: Jackson Cluff (L), Drew Mendoza (L), Jordy Mercer, Hernán Pérez, Adrían Sanchez
Outfielders: Gerardo Parra (L), Carlos Tocci, Yasmany Tomás, Cody Wilson