Baseball America Nats No. 3 prospect: RHP Jackson Rutledge

The Nationals’ core prospect structure is based around starting pitching, and that is exemplified in the selection of right-hander Jackson Rutledge with their first-round draft pick from 2019.

Rutledge arrived after a solid season at San Jacinto Junior College in Texas, and fires to the plate from a 6-foot-8, 250-lb. frame.

Baseball America has the big right-hander locked in as the Nats’ No. 3 prospect for 2020.

No. 3 Jackson Rutledge

Rutledge-Throws-San-Jacinto-Sidebar.jpg“He’s a huge guy,” said Baseball America Nats correspondent Lacy Lusk. “I guess the only concern that people have kind of brought up when I’ve done a chat about the top 10 is his command and control. If he can show that, then he can certainly get through the organization pretty quickly after his one year at Arkansas and one year in junior college. Hopefully, he can be a guy that they can hold onto and be a part of their rotation in the future.”

Rutledge, 20, started 10 games last season, going 2-0 with a 3.13 ERA and making six of those starts at low Single-A Hagerstown. He has allowed 15 walks in 37 1/3 innings, but allowed only three earned runs in his last four starts. General manager Mike Rizzo has liked his upper 90s fastball, slider and developing changeup. This season, Rutledge should get his shot to test Carolina League hitters at high Single-A Fredericksburg.

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