Over the last month, the Nationals have seemingly made it a habit to showcase some of their top prospects in their farm system at the big league level. The latest name in that trend is 22-year-old reliever Koda Glover, who was called up by prior to Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Glover's story is unique from the most recent youngsters who have been promoted because of how quickly he accomplished the feat; the 6-5, 225-pound right hander was selected by the Nats out of Oklahoma State in the eighth round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft, and he started this season at Single-A Potomac. That typically doesn’t sound like a player poised to make his make it to the majors in the same year.
“If you were to ask me if I'd be where I am right now [back then], I'd say no,” Glover said Wednesday. “But luckily I've been blessed with the opportunities that they've given me.”
His meteoric rise up the organization's ranks culminated Tuesday night, when he got the call all young ball players dream of.
"I was pretty ecstatic," Glover said Wednesday. "It's every kid's dream. When you get the call at 11 pm, you're about to go to sleep and you get that call, it's fantastic.
"I barely got a wink [of sleep]. I'm running on fumes right now, but it's all good."
Between his 33 combined relief appearances in Potomac, Harrisburg and Syracuse, Glover went 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA in 45 1/3 innings, notching 52 strikeouts to just 14 walks. He’s served as a late-inning option this season, but the question is where exactly he’ll fit into Dusty Baker’s bullpen.
The Nats skipper said before Wednesday’s game that he’ll have to see Glover pitch first before he determines which role he’ll serve and how long he’ll be with the big club. For now, most of the information he has about newest reliever is through hearsay.
"I heard that he has an attitude," said Baker. "I told him to keep that attitude. I think that's one thing we need is attitude."
Glover acknowledged said attitude, and explained how others have described his on-field demeanor over the years.
“Different people have said different things,” he said. “Bulldog mentality. Things that I can't say to [the media]. For the most part, just keeping it on the field and stuff like that, and keeping it professional, I think that's gotten me to where I am.”
With several Nats nearing the end their respective stints on the disabled list, there’s a chance that Glover’s stay in the majors winds up being a brief one. But he’ll get a shot to leave a lasting impression that could serve him well later in the season.
“I give all young guys a chance,” Baker said. “It's up to them. All I can do is give you the opportunity."