Nationals

Cavalli, Noll highlight Nats' 2021 Minor League Award winners

Nationals

The Washington Nationals announced its 2021 Minor League Award winners on Tuesday, with the team's top prospect, right-hander Cade Cavalli, highlighting the list.

Cavalli, 23, was named the club's Minor League Pitcher of the Year after working his way up from High-A all the way to Triple-A Rochester by the end of the season. The right-hander led all Minor League pitchers with 175 strikeouts this season, while his 3.36 ERA was the best of any Nationals' affiliates' regular starters.

Moving to position players, infielder/outfielder Jake Noll was named the team's Minor League Player of the Year. The 27-year-old finished the season with leading Washington's farm system in batting average (.300), doubles (28), RBI (69), slugging percentage (.494), OPS (.840), hits (131), extra-base hits (48) and total bases (216). 

Noll spent the entire 2021 season with Triple-A Rochester, appearing in 118 games. He finished second in the Nationals' system with 17 home runs, too.

Next on the list was Defensive Player of the Year, which was awarded to newcomer Donovan Casey. The 25-year-old joined Washington in August as part of the blockbuster trade where the Nationals sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers.

Since arriving, Casey appeared in 50 games between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester, playing all three outfielder positions. He did not make an error since joining Washington's farm system and finished the season with four outfield assists.

Casey wasn't the only new arrival to be awarded, as Jordy Barley was named Washington's Minor League Baserunner of the Year. Barley came over to the Nationals organization in August, along with Mason Thompson, from San Diego in exchange for reliever Daniel Hudson.

 

Barley's speed became immediately evident, too. In 33 games with the Fredricksburg Nationals, the middle infielder recorded 12 stolen bases. In total, Barley swiped 45 bags for the year, which was the seventh-best mark in all of Minor League Baseball.

The final honor given out was the "Nationals Way" Award, which was given to infielder/outfielder Jack Dunn. According to the team, this honor is given to the Minor Leaguer who "best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the 'Washington Nationals Way.'"

Dunn, a 20th-round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, had a solid first professional season with High-A Wilmington. Dunn played all over the field but primarily at third base. He finished the year hitting .276 with five doubles, two triples, two home runs, 19 RBI and 39 runs scored in 65 games.