Nationals announce 2021 minor league awards

The Washington Nationals selected the following players as their 2021 Minor League Award winners:

* Player of the Year - infielder/outfielder Jake Noll
* Pitcher of the Year - right-hander Cade Cavalli
* Defensive Player of the Year - outfielder Donovan Casey
* Baserunner of the Year - infielder Jordy Barley
* “Nationals Way” Award - infielder/outfielder Jack Dunn

Noll, 27, led Washington’s Minor League system in batting average (.300), doubles (28), RBI (69), slugging percentage (.494), OPS (.840), hits (131), extra-base hits (48) and total bases (216) in 118 games with Triple-A Rochester. His 17 home runs ranked second in the organization. Noll’s 48 extra-base hits and 28 doubles were career-highs and his 17 home runs matched the most he’s hit in a season (also: 2017).

Noll was named a Triple-A East All-Star after leading the league in hits. He also ranked among league leaders in total bases (3rd), batting average (4th), extra-base hits (T4th), doubles (T5th) and RBI (T5th). His defensive versatility allowed him to see action at second base (54 G), first base (36 G), left field (19 G), third base (7 G), designated hitter (6 G), right field (3 G) and center field (1 G).

Noll was selected in the seventh round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida Gulf Coast University. He was signed by Nationals scout Alex Morales.

Cavalli, 23, led all of Minor League Baseball with 175 strikeouts, while his 3.36 ERA paced all full-season Nationals Minor Leaguers. In his first professional season, Cavalli went 7-9 with a 3.36 ERA, 175 strikeouts and 60 walks in 123.1 innings across 24 starts. He allowed just five home runs, and his 0.36 home runs allowed per 9.0 innings led all of Minor League Baseball (full-season). Cavalli led full-season Nationals Minor Leaguers with a .213 opponents’ batting average while his 1.26 walk and hits per innings pitched ranked third.

A member of Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star team in 2021, Cavalli opened the season with High-A Wilmington where he went 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA in seven starts. Following the season, Baseball America named him the top prospect in High-A. Cavalli was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg on June 15 and he would eventually make 11 starts - going 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA - before joining Triple-A Rochester on Aug. 24. In six starts with the Red Wings, Cavalli went 1-5 with a 7.30 ERA.

Cavalli was selected to represent the Washington Nationals in the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in addition to earning High-A East (June 13) and Double-A Northeast (Aug. 1) Pitcher of the Week honors.

Cavalli is currently rated as the top prospect in Washington’s Minor League system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America. He is rated by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in all of baseball and by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 39 prospect.

Cavalli was selected in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 2020 First year Player Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. He was signed by Nationals scout Jerad Head.

Casey, 25, showed versatility and strong defensive ability after joining the Nationals organization in August. He made 29 appearances in center field, 11 in left field and 11 in right field in 50 games between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester. He did not make an error and recorded four outfield assists since joining the organization.

In 198 plate appearances with the Senators and Red Wings, Casey hit .224 with 11 doubles, one triple, five homers, 19 RBI, three hit by pitch, 10 walks, seven stolen bases and 21 runs scored. In his first 25 games with the organization, Casey Hit .337 with a .373 on-base percentage and a .568 slugging percentage. He recorded eight doubles one triple and four home runs in those 25 games.

Casey is currently rated by Baseball America as the No. 14 prospect in Washington’s Minor League system and the No. 18 prospect by MLBPipeline.com. Baseball America also rated him as the “Best Defensive Outfielder” and having the “Best Outfield Arm” in the Double-A Central League in 2021. He appeared in 73 games with Double-A Tulsa prior to being acquired by the Nationals.

Barley, 21, recorded 12 stolen bases in 33 games with the Fredericksburg Nationals after joining the organization in August. His 12 stolen bases ranked seventh in Washington’s Minor League system. On the season, Barley ranked seventh in all of Minor League Baseball with 45 stolen bases between Low-A Lake Elsinore and Low-A Fredericksburg.

Washington’s No. 25 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, Barley hit .205 with six doubles, two homers, 10 RBI, 17 walks, 12 stolen bases and 17 runs scored in 33 games with the Fredericksburg Nationals.

Dunn, 25, receives this award given to the Nationals Minor Leaguer who best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the “Washington Nationals Way.”

In his first full professional season, Dunn made an impact with High-A Wilmington, hitting .276 with five doubles, two triples, two homers, 19 RBI, 24 walks, 11 stolen bases and 39 runs scored in 65 games. He appeared at third base (27 G), second base (15 G), shortstop (11 G), first base (8 G), left field (2 G) and made two appearances on the mound.

Dunn was selected in the 20th round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Northwestern (IL) University. He was signed by Nationals scout Justin Bloxom.