Nationals' prospect Drew Mendoza shines in victory for Instructional League (intrasquad)

Nationals’ prospect Drew Mendoza shines in victory for Instructional League (intrasquad)

WASHINGTON – Drew Mendoza took advantage of a plan change on Saturday.

Tea Citizens should play Marlins in an Instructional League match in Florida.

But due to COVID concerns in Miami’s camp, the Nationals played an intrasquad game with five innings, and Mendoza had two hits, (including a double), and ran in three when Team 1 beat Team 2 with a score of 4-0.

Mendoza was drafted in the third round in 2019 out of Florida State, and struck. 264 with four homers in 55 games last season for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns in the South Atlantic League.

The player was a late addition to the 60-player pool this summer at the alternative location in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and is now gaining more experience in Florida.

Jugs used Saturday for the five-inning contest were Jackson Rutledge (two innings), Cade Cavalli (two), Todd Peterson (two), Cole Henry (two), Matt Cronin (one) and former Virginia Tech pitcher Zachary Brzykcy (en).

Cronin, a left-winger who beat Hagerstown in 2019, had an impeccable turn when he waved three strokes on nine lanes. He was a fourth round in Arkansas last year.

Rutledge, a first round in 2019, was pleased with the excursion.

“I felt good today, especially with the command of my fastball,” Rutledge wrote to Federal Baseball.

“I established strikes early in almost all bats and managed to open the rest of the course later, which was the main focus today.”

“I was also successful with a couple of early counting curves that I’ve been working on this week,” he added.

Cavalli was the first round of the summer out of Oklahoma while Henry was taken in the second round out of LSU.

After three seasons at Virginia Tech, Bryzkcy was signed as a non-draft free agent earlier this year and denied the chance to play for the Hokies for a final season in 2021.

Another offensive star on Saturday was player Viandel Pena, who also had two hits. He played in the Gulf Coast League in 2019.

Saturday should be the eighth of 12 games between the Nationals and the Marlins this month. The Nationals’ original schedule did not include games against other franchises.

The final match of the IL season is scheduled for October 24 in Jupiter at Marlins’ home.

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