Nats set minors rosters: Rutledge, Cavalli, Parra among assigned

Cade Cavalli

The Nationals’ top pitching prospects are headed to High-A Wilmington and most of the minor-league players on their 40-man roster will be a short flight away at Triple-A Rochester after the organization’s affiliates announced their Opening Day rosters Monday afternoon.

Washington has two new affiliates this season, a product of MLB’s decision to eliminate a slew of minor-league teams in order to redistribute funding. The Rochester Red Wings have replaced the Fresno Grizzlies as their Triple-A team, which makes for travel to and from D.C. much easier. The Fredericksburg Nationals were also reassigned from High-A to Low-A to make room for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, who replaced the Hagerstown Suns.

Rochester will play host to many players that have already spent time in Washington: Carter Kieboom, Luis García, Gerardo Parra, Ryne Harper, Steven Fuentes, Raudy Read, Tres Barrera, Ben Braymer, Dakota Bacus, Jefry Rodriguez, Justin Miller, Adrián Sanchez, Jake Noll, and Rafael Bautista. Players called up from Triple-A don’t need to quarantine before being activated.

At Double-A Harrisburg, the Nationals have assigned many players with future big-league potential. Infielders Drew Mendoza (Washington’s No. 11 prospect on MLB Pipeline) and Jackson Cluff (No. 17) highlight the offense alongside catcher Jakson Reetz (No. 26) and outfielder Cody Wilson, who made the Nationals’ Opening Day roster when a coronavirus outbreak forced them to play without nine players. The pitching staff also features Tim Cate (No. 8) and Sterling Sharp (No. 29).


High-A Wilmington will see some of the Nationals’ best young pitchers at work this season. Former first-round picks Cade Cavalli (No. 1) and Jackson Rutledge (No. 2) are joined by Cole Henry (No. 3), Matt Cronin (No. 10), Joan Adon (No. 16), Holden Powell (No. 20), Tyler Dyson (No. 23), Evan Lee (No. 24) and Reid Schaller (No. 27) to round out its group of arms. The offense will be anchored by infielder Yasel Antuna (No. 4), the Nationals’ top hitting prospect, and fast-rising catcher Israel Pineda (No. 15).

“Both young men are very mature,” Nationals Assistant GM of Player Development Mark Scialabba said of Cavalli and Rutledge in a Zoom call Monday. “For those two in general, I just do think that they need to get into that playing every day against competition and knowing how to deal with adversity…because at the end of the day, Jackson and Cade are two of our players that we feel like have great upside.”

None of the Nationals’ top 30 prospects will begin the season at Low-A Fredericksburg, which is set to play its first campaign in its new ballpark since moving from Potomac.