No. 10: Jakson Reetz, C – GCL Nationals
Jakson Reetz is one of those prospects whose name you may not have heard a whole lot of, given that the Nationals drafted him in the third round of the 2014 First Year Player Draft less than six months ago. In his short career as a professional, however, Reetz has made a name for himself within the organization and has jumped into the team’s Top-10 prospects list.
Reetz, 18, is a 6-foot-1, 195 lb catcher from Hickman, Nebraska. The Nationals selected Reetz out of Norris High School in Firth, Nebraska with the 93rd overall pick in the draft. Soon after, the Nationals signed the young catcher for $800,000. Many, including MLB.com’s Jim Callis, were surprised that the Nationals were able to nab Reetz in the third round, as he was widely considered to be the best high school catcher available in the draft.
Reetz had also made a name for himself prior to the draft in the 2013 summer showcase circuit, being named MVP of the Perfect Game All-American Classic while batting .435 with five extra-base hits to help the U.S. national team win the 18-and-under World Cup in Taiwan. Reetz, who had committed to the University of Nebraska prior to signing with the Nationals, was also named the 2013-14 Gatorade Nebraska Baseball Player of the Year after hitting .487 with eight home runs, 37 RBI and 37 runs scored in 2014.
Upon joining the Nationals in 2014, Reetz played in 43 games for the team’s Gulf Coast League affiliate, batting .274 with 15 RBIs, eight extra-base hits, and 20 runs scored over 117 plate appearances.
While Reetz is still years away from reaching the major leagues, he has the potential to become a solid big league catcher. According to MLB.com’s 2014 Prospect Watch, Reetz has a quick bat that is capable of hitting line drives to all fields and is a better base runner than most catchers. Reetz, who was a three-sport athlete in high school, is also very athletic behind the plate and has a strong arm.
We probably won’t see Reetz behind the plate at Nationals Park for at least a few more years. But he is still an important player to keep an eye on as he is not only one of the team’s best prospects, but also the highest-ranking catcher in the team’s minor league system (followed by Pedro Severino, who is ranked at No. 11 and does not qualify for our Top-10 countdown).