Early on, Nationals’ 33rd-rounder McQuillan showing he could be “sleeper” of draft

One of the younger prospects displaying his talent early is draft pick Mike McQuillan, a left-handed second baseman out of the University of Iowa, who is getting noticed for his nice start at short-season Single-A Auburn.

McQuillan is hitting .293 with two doubles, two triples, one homer and five RBIs in 13 games for Auburn.

Don’t remember seeing McQuillan on the depth chart?

McQuillan was selected in the 33rd round as pick No. 1,014. The Nationals selected only eight players after McQuillan was picked. McQuillan was the final player to sign with the Nationals from the 2012 draft.

He may not be that well-known to most fans, but he has certainly garnered big-time attention from the coaching staff because of the way he plays the game.

“The guy has really been a spark for us, might be the sleeper of our draft so far,” said Auburn manager Gary Cathcart.

The Doubledays have so much confidence in McQuillan that they have temporarily moved him to outfield because the team is jammed up with infielders. Even at a new position, McQuillan has shined.

“He really has simple approach, and the swing really works,” Cathcart said. “He has had a good couple of weeks. Kid is just a baseball player, a real grinder. Tough kid, loves to play. The kind of guy I definitely like to have on my team.”

McQuillan generated a lot of buzz in Florida with impressive at-bats for the GCL Nats, hitting .375 in 19 games. Cathcart said they have put McQuillan in any situation and so far he has excelled.

“He did a nice job down in the GCL,” Cathcart said. “He has been batting leadoff for us now or batting second. He is right in the middle of it for us every night, even against left-handers.”

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