Cavalli twirls gem in 11-K performance

May 30th, 2021

 went nearly 11 months between signing his first professional contract and throwing a pitch in a game that mattered. He's certainly making up for lost time.

MLB's No. 82 overall prospect started strong and finished stronger, striking out 11 over 5 1/3 innings as High-A Wilmington blanked Greensboro, 5-0, on Saturday night. Cavalli picked up his second consecutive win and lowered his ERA to 1.63 through his first five starts, all of which have lasted five innings.

The 22-year-old recorded four of his first six outs via the strikeout and punched out five through the first three frames. Cavalli faced his only real threat in the third inning when he allowed a leadoff double, only to retire the next three batters in succession to strand the runner at third.

Handed a lead in the fourth, the top Nats prospect surrendered one baserunner -- a single -- over his final 2 1/3 innings. Cavalli struck out the side in the fifth and whiffed six of the final nine batters he faced. He was removed after tossing a career-high 99 pitches, 67 for strikes.

Selected with the 22nd pick in last year's Draft out of the University of Oklahoma, Cavalli has enjoyed a seamless transition to the pros. He opened the year with 10 consecutive scoreless innings before ultimately allowing four runs in six frames on May 18, despite registering a personal-best 12 strikeouts.

The right-hander rebounded to notch his first win five days later when he surrendered one earned run in six innings. Saturday marked the fourth time in five starts Cavalli has allowed three or fewer hits in a game. That stinginess has contributed to an opponent's average of .198 and a 0.98 WHIP in 27 2/3 innings.

The Tulsa, Okla., native leads all Minor Leaguers with 45 strikeouts and is averaging 14.6 K's per nine, including 30 in his last 17 2/3 innings.