While outfielder Andrew Pinckney was pursuing baseball for four seasons at the University of Alabama, he also was completing his undergraduate degree in management information systems.
Before he was selected in the fourth round of the Draft by the Nationals in July, Pinckney was recognized as the 2023 SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year. A five-time Dean's List honoree, he also was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll twice and graduated in May with a 3.52 GPA.
This, while earning 2023 SEC Baseball All-Tournament Team, ABCA/Rawlings All-Southeast Region First Team and NCAA All-Tournament Team (Tuscaloosa Regional) honors, among other accolades.
Pinckney, 22, is ranked as the Nats’ No. 20 prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was promoted from Single-A Fredericksburg to High-A Wilmington on Wednesday.
I recently caught up with Pinckney to learn more about how his academic background translates onto the field.
MLB.com: What was your favorite subject in school?
Pinckney: Definitely chemistry. I would say that and calculus. Calculus is really fun, too.
MLB.com: Why did those subjects click for you?
Pinckney: Math in general has always been pretty easy for me. I did well in physics and stuff like that. I took a lot of coding classes in college, and that was my major. That’s just kind of been the way it’s been wired for me.
MLB.com: What could you potentially do with those skills?
Pinckney: With my degree, you can go a lot of different ways. You can do data analytics, you can do software engineering-type stuff. I think if baseball didn’t work out, I would hopefully work for an MLB team and be a front office guy and do some sort of analytics.
MLB.com: How does that aptitude impact how you view the game?
Pinckney: I would say maybe a little bit. I think weighing risks and reward on the field is definitely where I’m strongest -- whether it’s trying to decide where I want to throw somebody out or take a base or something like that. I think that’s kind of how the analytical side of my mind kind of works a little bit.
MLB.com: How do you implement statistics into how you play?
Pinckney: I think it’s just decision making. Everything’s moving so fast when the pitch gets thrown. I just think it kind of helps [to] slow the game down. And when you have that comfortability of knowing what to do here and what’s going to happen if some sort of situation arises, I think that kind of helps slow things down and keep me comfortable.
MLB.com: What is your favorite stat?
Pinckney: I would probably say just batting average. I try not to look at it because I can get upset, I can get happy, you see it go down, you see it go up. I try to stay away from it, but if I’m going to look, I’m going to look at average or maybe on-base percentage to see if I’m doing all right even if I’m not swinging it the best at the time.
Let’s take a trip around the Nationals Minor League system and see some other notables.
Outfielder Jacob Young was promoted from Rochester to the Nationals on Saturday. He began this season in High-A, advanced to Double-A on June 17, jumped to Triple-A Rochester on Aug. 22 and made it to the bigs on Aug. 26. Young, 24, was named the Nats’ Baserunner of the Year in the 2022 Minor League Awards.
Third baseman Yohandy Morales, ranked as the Nationals’ No. 7 prospect, was promoted from Single-A to Double-A this week. He slashed .390/.448/.571 with a 1.019 OPS in 18 games with the FredNats. Washington selected Morales, 21, with the 40th overall pick in July.
Nationals’ No. 9 prospect Cristhian Vaquero was promoted from the Florida Complex League Nats to the FredNets this week. He hit .279 with 34 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 42 FCL games. The 18-year-old outfielder was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 2 prospect in the 2022 international signing class.