Nationals draft Oklahoma LHP Jake Bennett in second round

Nats draft Oklahoma LHP Jake Bennett in second round originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Jake Bennett and Cade Cavalli shared the same dugout in high school and college. After the Nationals drafted Bennett in the second round of Sunday’s 2022 MLB Draft, the pair of former teammates may have the chance to do so again in Washington.

The Nationals took Bennett 45th overall, 40 picks after they made high school outfielder Elijah Green their top selection of the night. A left-handed pitcher out of Oklahoma, Bennett is coming off a collegiate season in which he went 10-4 with a 3.69 ERA as he helped the Sooners reach the College World Series.

Washington originally drafted Bennett in the 39th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, but he opted instead to honor his commitment to Oklahoma. This time, the Nationals made sure he didn’t make it past the second round.

Listed at 6-foot-6, 234 pounds, the 21-year-old Bennett throws around 91-94 mph with his fastball, which is complemented by a repertoire that includes a slider and changeup. He racked up 133 strikeouts to just 22 walks last season, showcasing strong control with all three of his pitches. He turned it up during the postseason,

Bennett is the third Oklahoma pitcher the Nationals have drafted in the last four years, joining Cavalli (2020 first round) and right-hander Jake Irvin (2018 fourth round). Cavalli, the Nationals’ consensus top pitching prospect, is 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 15 starts for Triple-A Rochester this season.