The Washington Nationals selected the contracts of third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez and right-handed pitcher Jefry Rodriguez on Monday, adding them to the team’s 40-man roster. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Gutierrez, 23, is coming off a season in which he was named a Carolina League mid-season All-Star after hitting .288 with 10 doubles, six triples, two homers, 16 RBI, three stolen bases and 34 runs scored for the Single-A Potomac Nationals in the season’s first half. After battling injuries in the season’s second half, he starred in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, hitting .350 (14-for-40) with a triple, one home run, nine RBI, one stolen base and six runs scored in 13 games for the Mesa Solar Sox. He was named Arizona Fall League Player of the Week on Nov. 7 after going 6-for-10 (.600) with one home run, one triple and four RBI in three starts during the week.
A native of Pimentel, Dominican Republic, Gutierrez is entering his sixth professional season in 2018. He is cited by Baseball America as having the “Best Infield Arm” in Washington’s system in 2018, the second year in a row in which the publication has made that distinction. Following the 2016 season, Baseball America named him the “Best Defensive Third Baseman” in the South Atlantic League.
Gutierrez was signed as a non-drafted free agent on April 10, 2013. He was signed by scout Modesto Ulloa.
Rodriguez, 24, went 4-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 12 games/10 starts for Single-A Potomac in 2017. He struck out 51 batters, walked 19 and surrendered just two home runs along the way. Left-handed batters hit just .175 with a .283 on-base percentage and a .213 slugging percentage against him. Lefties were 14-for-80 with three doubles and 23 strikeouts. Rodriguez finished the 2017 season on a strong note, posting a 2.81 ERA (5 ER/16.0 IP) with a .196 opponent batting average (10-for-51) in his final five games/three starts.
Embarking on his sixth professional season in 2018, Rodriguez is cited by Baseball America as having the “Best Fastball” in Washington’s Minor League system. He improved his WHIP (1.11), hits per 9.0 innings (6.9), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (8.1), walks per 9.0 innings (3.0) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.68) during the 2017 season as compared to 2016, with all numbers proving better than his career numbers. In five professional seasons, Rodriguez has appeared in 89 games, making 86 starts and going 19-28 with a 4.35 ERA along the way.
A native of Haina, Dominican Republic, Rodriguez was signed as a non-drafted free agent on January 17, 2012. He was signed by scout Pablo Arias.
With these additions, the Nationals now have 37 players on their 40-man roster. Please see attachment for updated 40-man roster.