The Nationals’ 40-man roster was used as a protective device Friday.
Infielder Yasel Antuna and right-handed pitcher Joan Adon were added to the 40-man roster before the 5 p.m. deadline to protect players from next month’s Rule 5 draft.
Antuna, 21, is a right-handed prospect who was among the 60-player pool at the alternate training in 2020. He’s a switch-hitter ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the organization. Major-league players who spent time in Fredericksburg at the alternate training site, as well as other minor leaguers, mentioned how impressed they were with Antuna. He has played shortstop, third base and second base since starting his professional career in 2017.
Adon, 22, also spent the season in Fredericksburg. In 2019, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound righty went 11–3 with a 3.86 ERA in 22 games (21 starts) with Single-A Hagerstown.
Among those not protected from the Rule 5 Draft are pitcher Sterling Sharp, catcher Raudy Read, catcher Israel Pineda and utility player Cole Freeman. All are unlikely to be selected.