The Washington Nationals selected collegiate left-handed pitcher Jake Bennett out of the University of Oklahoma with their second round pick (No. 45) in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft on Sunday. President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline and Director of Scouting Operations Eddie Longosz made the joint announcement.
Bennett, 21, went 10-4 with a 3.69 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) during his redshirt sophomore season at Oklahoma in 2022. He struck out 133 batters and walked just 22 in 117.0 innings pitched. He received second-team All-America honors from Baseball America and D1Baseball.com and third-team honors from Perfect Game. He was named First-Team All-Big 12 Conference and to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team.
The 6-foot-6, 234-pound left-hander is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 41 prospect and by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 68 prospect in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft.
A high school and college teammate of current Nationals prospect Cade Cavalli, Bennett was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball in 2020. He went 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA (1 ER/19.0 IP) with 19 strikeouts and three walks in three starts before the cancellation of the season. In 2021, Bennet struck out 60 batters in 55.1 innings while going 4-3 with a 6.34 ERA in 16 games (13 starts).
Bennett is a native of Bixby, Okla., and graduated from Bixby High School. He was selected by the Nationals in the 39th round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft but chose to attend the University of Oklahoma. As a senior, he was rated as the top-ranked left-handed pitcher in the state of Oklahoma by Perfect Game. He garnered all-state honors in 2019 and was a three-time Tulsa World All-World honorable mention.