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Nationals announce 2020 non-roster invitees

February 12, 2020

The Washington Nationals announced their 2020 Spring Training non-roster invitees on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement. RHP: Dakota Bacus, Bryan Bonnell, Wil Crowe, Paolo Espino, Jhonatan German, Javy Guerra, David Hernandez, Kevin Quackenbush, Derek Self LHP: Fernando Abad, Sam Freeman C:

The Washington Nationals announced their 2020 Spring Training non-roster invitees on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

RHP: Dakota Bacus, Bryan Bonnell, Wil Crowe, Paolo Espino, Jhonatan German, Javy Guerra, David Hernandez, Kevin Quackenbush, Derek Self

LHP: Fernando Abad, Sam Freeman

C: Welington Castillo, Taylor Gushue (S), Jakson Reetz

INF: Luis García (L), Brandon Snyder, Drew Ward (L), Jacob Wilson

OF: Emilio Bonifácio (S), Yadiel Hernandez (L), JB Shuck (OF/LHP), Mac Williamson

Abad, 34, appeared in 21 games for the San Francisco Giants in 2019, posting a 4.15 ERA across 13.0 innings pitched. He had his contract selected on Aug. 15 after 41 Minor League games between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento in which he went 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA and 55 strikeouts against just five walks. Over the last four seasons (2016-19), Abad has held opposing lefties to a .186/.233/.299 “slash” line.

Bacus, 28, will take part in his first Major League Spring Training in 2020 after going 5-5 with nine saves and a 3.51 ERA in 47 games between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Fresno. His 47 games ranked third among Nationals farmhands, while his nine saves were tied for fourth. Bacus was originally acquired by the Nationals from Oakland in exchange for current Washington catcher Kurt Suzuki on Aug. 23, 2013.

Bonifácio, 34, is a veteran of 11 Major League seasons and looks to return to the Major Leagues for the first time since 2017 with the Atlanta Braves. He spent the entire 2019 season in Tampa Bay’s organization with Triple-A Durham, hitting. 286 with 19 doubles, three triples, eight homers, 36 RBI, 25 walks, 15 stolen bases and 48 runs scored in 76 games.

Bonnell, 26, enters his second season in Washington's organization after signing as a Minor League free agent on May 14, 2019. He opened the 2019 season with Double-A Arkansas in Seattle’s system before joining Washington's organization. He went 4-7 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 games between Single-A Potomac, Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Fresno. He struck out 47 batters in 50.1 innings pitched and tossed more than 1.0 inning in 19 of the 32 outings between the three stops.

Castillo, 32, is a veteran of 10 Major League seasons and 2020 Spring Training marks his return to the National League after three seasons with American League clubs. His 84 home runs since the start of 2014 are tied for seventh among Major League catchers. In 2019, he endured two stints on the Injured List, limiting him to 72 games for the Chicago White Sox. He recorded his fifth 10+ home run season, hitting .209 with 12 doubles, 12 homers, 41 RBI, 16 walks and 19 runs scored.

Crowe, 25, enters the season as Washington’s No. 4 prospect, per Baseball America. He went 7-10 with a 4.70 ERA in a career-high 26 starts between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Fresno in 2019. His 26 starts and 149.1 innings pitched were the most among Washington's farmhands. He struck out 130 batters between the two stops, the second-most in Washington's Minor League system.

Espino, 33, Went 8-4 with a 5.59 ERA in 19 games (17 starts) between Triple-A Fresno and the GCL Nationals in 2019. He struck out 102 batters against 25 walks across 96.2 innings and his eight wins were tied for sixth-most in Washington’s chain.

Freeman, 32, returns to the Nationals on a Minor League contract with an invite to 2020 Spring Training after finishing the 2019 season with Triple-A Fresno. He joined the Nationals system on Aug. 21 and made five appearances for Fresno, tossing 6.0 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts against one walk. In his last two full Major League seasons (2017-18), opposing left-handed batters hit .208/.306/.298 with six doubles and three home runs.

García, 19, will take part in his second Major League Spring Training in 2020. Washington’s No. 2 prospect according to _Baseball America_, García spent the 2019 season with Double-A Harrisburg and led them with 129 games played, 135 hits, four triples (tied), 11 stolen bases and 66 runs scored. At 19 years old, he was the youngest player in the Eastern League, where he ranked tied for second in hits and seventh in runs scored. For his efforts in 2019, the Nationals selected García as their Minor League Defensive Player of the Year.

German, 25, will take part in his first Major League Spring Training in 2020. The hard-throwing right-handed reliever has fanned more than a batter per inning in 96 games across his first five professional seasons and has allowed just seven home runs in 179.2 professional innings (0.35 HR/9.0 IP; MLB average for relievers: 1.35 HR/9.0 IP). In 2019, he went 5-3 with a 2.78 ERA and 58 strikeouts in a career-high 44 games between Single-A Hagerstown, Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. His career-high 11 saves were second-most among Nationals Minor Leaguers.

Guerra, 34, went 3-1 with a 4.86 ERA in 40 games out of Washington’s bullpen in 2019. He tossed more than 1.0 inning in 14 out of those 40 games, going 1-1 with a 4.01 ERA in those outings. He made two Postseason appearances, pitching in Game 2 and Game 4 of the World Series, allowing just one earned run on six hits in 3.0 innings of work. Guerra joined Washington on May 20 after posting a 3.86 ERA in 11 games out of Toronto’s bullpen to start the season.

Gushue, 26, will take part in his third Major League Spring Training in 2020. He spent the 2019 season with Triple-A Fresno, his first full season at the Triple-A level. With the Grizzlies, he recorded career marks in batting average (.312), doubles (19), on-base percentage (.358), slugging percentage (.517) and OPS (.875).

Hernandez, 34, is 38-47 with 24 saves and a 4.12 ERA in 547 games across 10 Major League seasons. Over the last two years, he has struck out 118 batters (10.0 SO/9.0 IP) and issued 37 walks (3.19 SO/BB) in 106.2 innings. In 2019, he went 2-5 with a 8.02 ERA in 47 games with the Cincinnati Reds. He was designated for assignment on Aug. 9 and eventually joined Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the New York Yankees system.

Hernandez, 32, was Washington’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2019 after pacing Washington’s Minor League system in home runs (33), RBI (90), slugging percentage (.604), OPS (1.009), hits (142), extra-base hits (56) and runs scored (87) in his third season with Washington. Hernandez will take part in his first Major League Spring Training in 2020 and he enters the campaign as the "Best Power Hitter" in Washington's Minor League system, according to Baseball America.

Quackenbush, 31, is 13-15 with eight saves and a 4.38 ERA in 203 games across five Major League seasons. He spent the 2019 season in the Los Angeles Dodgers system, going 2-5 with 11 saves and a 5.06 ERA in 54 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Reetz, 24, clubbed a career-high 13 home runs in 96 games with Single-A Potomac in 2019. He will take part in his first Major League Spring Training in 2020 after six years in Washington’s Minor League system. He was originally selected by the Nationals in the third round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

Self, 30, went 4-2 with eight saves and a 5.91 ERA in a career-high 48 games for Triple-A Fresno in 2019. His eight saves ranked sixth in Washington’s Minor League system. Self was originally selected by the Nationals in the ninth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Louisville.

Shuck, 32, will enter 2020 Spring Training as a two-way player. He opened the 2019 season as Pittsburgh’s Opening Day center fielder before being designated for assignment on May 4 and spending the rest of the season with Triple-A Indianapolis. With Indianapolis, he appeared in 61 games (.268, 12 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 14 RBI) in the outfield and made 14 pitching appearances (19.0 IP, 3.79 ERA, 23 SO).

Snyder, 33, will take part in his third Spring Training with the Nationals in 2020 (also: 2017, 2019). He clubbed a career-high 31 home runs in 117 games with Triple-A Fresno in 2019. He ranked among Nationals Minor Leaguers in home runs (2nd, 31), extra-base hits (2nd, 55), RBI (3rd, 80), slugging percentage (3rd, .537), runs scored (4th, 75) and OPS (8th, .852). The Northern Virginia native has the ability to play every defensive position and in 2019, he made seven pitching appearances, going 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA (4 ER/9.0 IP). Opposing batters hit .133 (4-for-30) with six strikeouts and one walk against him.

Ward, 25, will take part in his second Major League Spring Training in 2020 after also being a part of big league camp in 2017. In 2019, he hit a career-high 18 home runs and 66 RBI in 90 games between Double-A Harrisburg, Triple-A Fresno and short-season Single-A Auburn.

Williamson, 29, is a veteran of 160 Major League games across five Major League seasons. He hit .156 with one double, four homers, 17 RBI, 14 walks and 13 runs scored in 40 games between San Francisco and Seattle in 2019.

Wilson, 29, returns to Washington’s system after finishing the 2019 season with the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization. He hit .310 with 12 doubles, one triple, 15 homers, 48 RBI, 31 walks and 40 runs scored in 55 games with Triple-A Fresno. He signed with the Lotte Giants on June 12 and hit .251 with 15 doubles, nine homers, 37 RBI and 21 runs scored in 68 games.