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Washington Nationals Release Blue Rocks 2021 Roster

Team Features 11 of the Nationals’ Top-30 Prospects
May 3, 2021

Wilmington, DE -- The Washington Nationals released their 2021 minor league rosters on Monday. In their first year as a Nationals affiliate, the Blue Rocks team consists of 11 top-30 prospects, according to

Wilmington, DE -- The Washington Nationals released their 2021 minor league rosters on Monday. In their first year as a Nationals affiliate, the Blue Rocks team consists of 11 top-30 prospects, according to

The Blue Rocks will be led by Tommy Shields, who is entering his seventh season with the Nationals and making his first return to the dugout as a skipper since 2014. He has spent the past few seasons as the co-Field Coordinator, a position that he will continue to maintain in addition to his managing duties for the Blue Rocks. Joining Shields’ staff will be Hitting Coach Luis Ordaz and Pitching Coach Justin Lord. Ordaz enters his sixth year with the Washington Nationals’ organization and has served as the Hitting Coach at the Advanced-A level for the organization since 2018. Lord has been with the Nationals organization since 2020. He spent the 2019 season as the Baltimore Orioles Advanced-A Pitching Coach.


The pitching staff for the Blue Rocks will feature nine of the Washington Nationals’ top-30 prospects, including the top three in their system. Washington’s top prospect, Cade Cavalli, will make his professional debut in Wilmington this season. The right hander was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 29th round of the 2017 MLB draft, but opted to attend the University of Oklahoma. In 2020, the Nationals selected Cavalli 22nd overall. Cavalli will be joined on the Frawley Stadium mound by RHP Jackson Rutledge (No. 2). The 6’8” Fenton, MO native was the 17th overall pick in the 2019 draft, and rose through three levels of the minor leagues during that season. Cole Henry (No. 3) was drafted in the second round in 2020 out of LSU. Another big righty, Henry stands at 6’4” tall.

Matt Cronin, Joan Adon, Holden Powell, Tyler Dyson, Evan Lee, and Reid Schaller round out the remaining top-30 prospects on the 2021 Blue Rocks pitching staff. Cornin, a southpaw, was taken in the 4th round (123rd overall) in 2019, and spent time in Low-A, posting a 0.82 ERA with 41 strikeouts over 22 innings pitched. Adon, a native of the Dominican Republic, also played in Low-A during the 2019 season. The rightie was 11-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 22 games. RHP Powell, a UCLA product, was drafted in the 3rd round (94th overall) in 2020. Dyson, a RHP out of the University of Florida, was drafted in the 5th round (153rd overall) in 2019. He started eight games for the short season Auburn Doubledays that season, posting a 1.14 ERA. Leftie Lee was a two-way player in his time at the University of Arkansas before being drafted by the Nats in 2018. Schaller, a RHP, was selected in the 3rd round (101st overall) by Washington in 2018. Despite an injury during the 2019 season, he posted a 3.29 ERA over 52 innings in Low-A. The rest of the Blue Rocks pitching staff is rounded out by righties Zach Brzykcy, Andrew Karp, Francis Perguero and Todd Peterson as well as lefties Alex Troop and Christian Vann.


Wilmington will carry three catchers to start the season. Israel Pineda highlights the group as the 15th-best prospect in the Nationals’ system. A native of Venezuela, the 21-year old has played in 164 games with an average of .239 in the minors. In 2019, Pineda played in 101 games at the Low-A level, hitting .217 and crushing seven homers. Also taking turns behind the plate this season will be Brady Lindsly and Andrew Pratt. Lindsly was drafted in 2020 out of Oklahoma, while Pratt was a 2019 selection from Lubbock Christian University.


The Blue Rocks infield will be anchored by another high prospect. Yasel Antuna (No. 4) signed with the Nationals for $3.9 million in 2016. Injuries limited him to a handful of Gulf Coast League starts in 2019, but the Dominican Republic prospect played the majority of the 2018 season in Low-A, hitting .220 through 87 games. He will be joined by Jake Alu, Jack Dunn, Gilbert Lara, Kyle Marinconz, and Omar Meregildo.


The outfield at Frawley Stadium will be patrolled by Gage Canning, Justin Connell, Jacob Rhinesmith and Armond Upshaw. Canning and Upshaw both spent time in Low-A and High-A in 2019. In total that year, Canning drove in 45 runs and swiped 14 bases. Upshaw knocked in 33 runs while swiping 27 bases. Connell, who was born in Barcelona and attended high school in Florida, played 120 games at the Low-A level in 2019, hitting .249. Rhinesmith spent the entire 2019 campaign in Low-A. He hit .264 on the season while plating 67 runs in 133 games.

Blue Rocks 2021 Opening Day Roster:


Joan Adon
Zach Brzykcy
Cade Cavalli
Matt Cronin
Tyler Dyson
Cole Henry
Andrew Karp
Evan Lee
Francis Peguero
Todd Peterson
Holden Powell
Jackson Rutledge
Reid Schaller
Alex Troop
Christian Vann


Brady Lindsly
Israel Pineda
Andrew Pratt


Jake Alu
Yasel Antuna
Jack Dunn
Gilbert Lara
Kyle Marinconz
Omar Meregildo


Gage Canning
Justin Connell
Jacob Rhinesmith
Armond Upshaw

The Blue Rocks open their season on Tuesday, May 4 against the Aberdeen IronBirds. Individual tickets, season seats, mini plans and group packages for the 2021 season are on sale now at