Rutledge opens playoffs with 8 scoreless frames

September 14th, 2022

Nationals top prospect: Rankings | Stats | Box scores

Rutledge twirls eight scoreless innings (Sept. 13)
Jackson Rutledge looked every bit the No. 17 overall pick in the 2019 Draft in this one.

The 12th-ranked Nationals prospect turned in arguably the best outing of his career, scattering three hits and a walk while fanning six over eight frames to set the table for Single-A Fredericksburg's blanking of Lynchburg in Game 1 of the best-of-3 semifinals at Virginia Credit Union Stadium.

After yielding a bloop single to lead off the game, the right-hander locked in to retire the side on five pitches en route to setting down the next nine Hillcats batters in a row. The only jam Rutledge found himself in was in the fourth when he loaded the bases with one out, but the defense backed up its starter. Will Bartlett hit a hot shot to third that was scooped by Trey Lipscomb, who threw a strike to Sammy Infante at second to begin an around-the-horn double play to end the inning. Full story »

Hassell III produces first Double-A homer (Sept. 4)
New level and team, same Robert Hassell III power.

The No. 1 Nationals prospect has had no shortage of power through this career as he hit 21 homers in his time with the Padres organization. Hassell has carried it over since being traded, even through a promotion, as he hit his first Double-A long ball as he went 2-for-5 in Double-A Harrisburg’s 7-3 win over Richmond.

The 21-year-old’s power surge did not carry over right away as he was unable to log a homer at the High-A level. Hassell III was then promoted and finally showed off the power as he hit a solo homer to left field in the fifth inning.

The outfielder brought his homer tally to 11 and improved his slash line to .274/.355/.416 on the season. -- Edwin Perez

Frizzell clubs historic three-homer game at Single-A (Aug. 26)
It was one of those nights for Single-A Fredericksburg, as the team erupted for 23 runs on 20 hits, and it was one of those performances for Will Frizzell, who contributed three of those knocks -- all of which left the yard.

The Nationals' infield prospect clubbed a trio of long balls, while driving in a career-high seven runs and scoring four times to lead the charge as the FredNats flexed to a 23-8 victory over Down East at Virginia Credit Union Stadium. The seven RBIs marked the second most in a single game by a player in the Carolina League this season.

It's the first career milestone for the Nationals' 2021 eighth-round Draft selection, and the first three-homer game in Fredericksburg's two-year history. Frizzell only posted one other multihomer game in his pro career, and that occurred on Aug. 9 against Augusta.

"It feels good to get my first one ever," Frizzell said. "I feel like I got that feat conquered now. But it was good to just get the barrel on the ball tonight." Full story »

Cavalli set to make big league debut with Nats (Aug. 24)
Nationals fourth-ranked prospect Cade Cavalli is scheduled to make his Major League debut with Washington on Friday.

MLB's No. 58 overall prospect will take the hill against the Reds at home. Cavalli is sporting a 3.71 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and a .215 average against with 104 strikeouts and 39 walks over 97 innings pitched this season at Triple-A Rochester.

The organization's top pitching prospect was the Nats' 2020 first-round Draft selection, No. 22 overall, out of Oklahoma. After the canceled 2020 Minor League season, the right-hander opened last season at High-A Wilmington and climbed three levels of Washington's system -- finishing the year making six starts for the Red Wings. -- Rob Terranova

Henry to undergo surgery, out for remainder of '22 (Aug. 17)
Nationals No. 6 prospect righty Cole Henry will reportedly miss the rest of the 2022 season due to thoracic outlet surgery.

Henry, 23, had split the season between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester and had not appeared in a game since June 11. In nine starts before the injury, he was nothing short of spectacular, posting a 1.71 ERA with a 0.79 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. Opposing batters hit just .131 against him this year. 

Henry will undergo surgery on Aug. 28, according to Grant Paulsen of MLB Network Radio. Depending on his recovery, he could be back sometime next spring. -- Nicholas Aguilera

Hassell promoted to Double-A (Aug. 16)
Nationals’ No. 1 prospect, outfielder Robert Hassell III, was transferred from the Wilmington Blue Rocks to the Harrisburg Senators. Leading up to his promotion to Double-A, he slashed a combined .289/.371/.442 with an .813 OPS, 20 doubles, 10 home runs and 23 stolen bases this season between the Nationals’ and Padres’ High-A affiliates. Hassell, who turned 21 on Monday, was the eighth overall pick in the 2020 Draft. -- Jessica Camerato

Cavalli collects 4th quality start with season-high 11 K's at Triple-A (Aug. 13)
Cade Cavalli got into a groove, striking out the side three times to lead Triple-A Rochester to a 5-1 win over Norfolk. MLB Pipeline's No. 58 overall prospect obtained his fourth quality start of the season in his 19th appearance.

The 22nd overall pick in the 2020 Draft fanned a season-high 11 batters over seven innings while allowing just one run on three hits and two walks. He finished with 96 pitches, throwing 64 for strikes and facing just four batters over the minimum in his outing (25).

"For me, it's always about consistency,” said Nats manager Davey Martinez on Aug. 17. “He's starting to get it. We are starting to watch him. He's throwing a lot more strikes than balls. He's competing. High leverage. I look at all the high-leverage stuff when he gets himself in a situation, how well he gets out of it, and he's doing a lot better.”

A focus all season with Cavalli has been getting the changeup over the plate and mixing it in with his high-level fastball placement around the strike zone.

"He's throwing a lot more changeups now, so that's awesome,” Martinez said. “His breaking ball, he's laying it for strikes. So, it's coming. He goes out there and he has a few outings where he is consistent, [and] we get him up there where he can throw six-plus innings, then we will deem he probably can come up there and help us.”

After a triumphant July, when Cavalli didn't allow a run over the entire month, the 24-year-old is continuing to drop his ERA. It has fallen from 4.54 at the beginning of July to 3.82 after his most recent outing. -- Ethan Sands/Byron Kerr

Hassell III produces first multihit game since being traded (Aug. 12)
New team, same old Robert Hassell III.

The Nationals No. 1 prospect is accustomed to multihit games as he has over 20 of them in the season, but has yet to accomplish that since being traded to the Nationals. Hassell III accomplished it in his eighth game with his new team, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs in High-A Wilmington’s 7-1 win over Brooklyn.

The 20-year-old had a productive day at the plate with three singles while bringing a run in the third and seventh innings. He also showcased his wheels as he stole second base in the seventh inning.

The outfielder’s productive day at the plate improved his slash line to .200/.306/.233 in his eight games with the Blue Rocks. -- Edwin Perez

Green homers in pro debut, Susana fans four in system debut (Aug. 9)
The No. 5 overall pick from this year's Draft wasted no time in showing his potential.

Batting third for the Florida Complex League Nationals in his pro debut, Elijah Green belted a long home run in his second plate appearance. Green's father -- NFL Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green -- caught the milestone moment on video.

In the same game, right-hander Jarlin Susana -- the Nationals' No. 8 prospect who came from the Padres in the Juan Soto deal -- made his first start in the Washington organization, striking out four and giving up a run over two innings. Full story »

Wood rips homer in first game with Nats' organization (Aug. 5)
It was three days ago when James Wood was traded from the Padres to the Nationals as part of the Juan Soto/Josh Bell deal, and he showed why the future is bright for the organization with the young players they received.

The No. 4 Nationals prospect impressed in his first game with the organization, as he went 4-for-6 with a homer, three RBIs and a stolen base in Single-A Fredericksburg’s 10-9, 10-inning loss to Down East.

The numbers have been impressive for Wood this season as he slashed .337/.453/.601 with a 1.054 OPS in his first season at the Single-A level with his former organization. The move has not stopped the 19-year-old from producing right away with his new team. Full story »

Pineda plates 5 runs in two-homer game (July 30)
 has made a strong impression since joining Double-A Harrisburg.

The No. 24 Nationals prospect hammered two home runs and brought in five runs in the Senators' 10-5 victory over Akron.

Pineda started his night by belting a solo home run to left-center field. He followed that up by bringing another run in the third with a sacrifice fly. In the seventh inning, the 22-year-old crushed a two-run drive to left. He capped his night by plating his final run with a ground ball to third.

Pineda was promoted to Harrisburg on July 22nd. Since joining the club, Pineda has posted a .333/.345/.963 line, tallied five home runs, and collects 13 RBIs in just seven games. -- Alyssa Gomez