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Nationals catcher Raudy Read arrives in the majors

Strong Double-A season moves Read into the big league picture

MLB: Washington Nationals-Media Day Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals promoted two young catchers to the major league roster for September: Raudy Read and Pedro Severino. We’ll write up Severino tomorrow, but here’s a quick look at Read.

The Nationals signed Raudy Read out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. After two years in the Dominican Summer League he drew notice with a solid campaign in the 2014 New York-Penn League, hitting .281/.332/.462. His 2015 season was less impressive but he was decent in 2016 (.262/.324/.415) in High-A, then brought the success forward to Double-A in 2017. He hit .265/.312/.455 this year for Harrisburg with a career-high 17 homers.

Read is listed at 6-0 and 170 pounds (although he’s probably more 185-190 these days), a right-handed hitter born October 29th, 1993. Although he doesn’t draw large numbers of walks (27 this year) he doesn’t strike out much either and is viewed as having a decent feel for the strike zone. Physical maturity has improved his strength and his power has steadily increased over the last two seasons. He could end up as something like a .260 hitter with enough power to be quite useful.

On defense, Read has all the necessary tools to thrive behind the plate: arm strength, mobility, leadership ability. He still needs some additional polish with receiving to lower his passed ball and error rates but he’s made progress and this is just a matter of experience now; his ability to stay behind the plate long-term is not doubted.

Read could use some time in Triple-A to grow into his power a bit more and to put the final touches on his defense, but he has the tools and skills to be a long-term asset for the Nationals.