Glover, 23, out of Oklahoma State, pitched for Potomac, Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse from April to August. During that span, Glover went 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 40 games, striking out 66 and walking only 14.
He was promoted to D.C. in July and made two appearances, on July 20 and 21. He arrived back again with the Nationals in Denver in August and stayed with the club through September. He had a span of nine strikeouts in four games at the end of August. In September, he came back to earth a bit, surrendering seven runs in his last seven games, while pitching through a torn labrum in his hoip. But the stuff is there, and Glover is a valuable piece to the Nationals bullpen heading into 2017.
Because Glover made only 19 combined appearances, Baseball America has Glover ranked in its top 10 Nationals prospects list for this year.
No. 6: RHP Koda Glover
Baseball America national writer Teddy Cahill said Glover was one of a handful of Nationals prospects that provided a big spark in the club’s quest for another divisional crown.
“We talked about the rise that (Wilmer) Difo has had,” Cahill said. “The rise that Koda Glover has had the last year and a half has been amazing. He went from Single-A to the big leagues and became pretty successful in the big leagues before September.
“Obviously, with him, it’s the big frame, the big arm, the big fastball, and that slider that he gets swings and misses with. Everyone talks about his makeup, his poise on the mound.”
The Nationals are still looking for a closer after Mark Melancon signed a free agent deal with the Giants. Several names have been mentioned through trades, but could the Nationals turn in-house to find a closer heading into 2017?
“It’s hard to know who can close in the big leagues until you ask them to close in the big leagues,” Cahill said. “But that’s a guy that a lot of people feel like has it in him. He has that experience of pitching in the back end of games in the minors. There’s a real belief that he could be a guy that could do that. It’s hard to know who can do it until you ask them to do it, but he seems like he has what it takes to be able to do it.”
Judging from his 2016 debut, there are very few prospects in the Nats system that have the upside that Glover owns. He is set up to have a big spring training and fight for a spot on the 25-man roster heading into opening day.