The Nationals selected Oklahoma right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli with the 22nd overall pick of the 2020 MLB first-year player draft Wednesday, extending their streak of drafting pitchers in the first round.
Cavalli, 21, was in the midst of his junior season with the Sooners when his collegiate career was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. A two-way player who didn't focus on pitching until his sophomore year, Cavalli went 8-7 with a 4.35 ERA with 114 strikeouts and 53 walks over 27 appearances (18 starts).
Listed at 6-foot-4, 226 pounds, he can touch 98 mph with his fastball and boasts an arsenal that also includes a slider, changeup and curveball. He does have a lengthy injury history that dates back to his high school career, but that's something that has never scared the Nationals away from a player in the past.
Washington’s selection of Cavalli marks the fourth-straight year GM Mike Rizzo and Co. have taken a starting pitcher in the first round. Jackson Rutledge (No. 17, 2019), Mason Denaburg (No. 27, 2018) and Seth Romero (No. 25, 2017) are all still in the Nationals’ minor-league system.
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