Nationals early camp prospect capsule: Jefry Rodriguez, Luis Reyes

Here are some more previews of a couple of the Dominican pitchers that are on the early camp roster. Short-season Single-A Auburn manager Gary Cathcart, the Nationals’ coordinator of instruction, had both of these prospects on his team last season.

RHP Jefry Rodriguez
6-foot-5, 185 lbs.
Age: 21
Birthplace: Haina, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right Throws: Right
2014 club: Auburn, Hagerstown

Rodriguez, a converted shortstop, has continued to improve the past two seasons. He put up some very good numbers at Auburn, going 1-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three starts, striking out nine in 16 1/3 innings. But he only started three games because he took a come backer off his wrist and missed eight weeks.

“He was rolling pretty good last year (prior to the injury),” Cathcart said. “He got it going again at the end of the year.”

Cathcart said Rodriguez is such an intriguing prospect because of the way the player has been able to transition so well and advance after starting out as an infielder.

“He might be the sleeper of the organization as far as his pitching goes just because he is kind of been hurt a little bit. (He would like to get to) 25 starts where he will be able to go out for 130, 140 innings. Hopefully that’s this year. He is a 93-96 mph guy with a a great feel for his breaking ball and changeup. When you get a chance to watch him throw, you’ll know what I mean. He’s probably our most under-the-radar sleeper with the most upside.”

RHP Luis Reyes
6-foot-2, 175 lbs.
Age: 20
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Birthplace: Sabana Grande de Palenque, Dominican Republic
2014 club: Auburn, GCL Nationals

Reyes went 0-1 in five starts for Auburn, engineering a 2.63 ERA, with 19 strikeouts in 24 innings.

“He has a 92-94 mph fastball with sink and action,” Cathcart said. “It goes back to our Latin program and all the work that those guys have done down there is really starting to show itself. It is fun to watch.”

Cathcart said he had more Latin American kids on his team last season than he’s ever had before and expects more this season due in large part to the work that coaches like (director of Latin American operations) Johnny DiPuglia and Dominican Summer League Nationals manager Sammy Martinez, among others, are doing at the Nationals Dominican Baseball Academy.

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