WASHINGTON – Quade Tomlin, 19, isn’t focusing on his batting average from his first pro season.
“I’m not too worried about the stats,” the infield prospect of the Nationals told Federal Baseball this past Friday.
“I did not have an injury; my swing felt good all year. It was definitely a learning experience for me, a humbling one at that. ”
The son of former Major League pitcher Randy Tomlin, the younger Tomlin signed with Washington out of high school in 2020.
He made his pro debut in the Florida Complex League last year and hit .100 in 60 at-bats for FCL Nationals’ manager Jake Lowery, the Richmond native who was promoted to manage at Single-A Fredericksburg this coming season.
“I love Jake; I actually played for his dad ”in travel baseball, Tomlin said. “Jake is young, so he relates to guys really well. He knows how to be cool around the games. He is easy to talk to. He is especially good at relating to guys; he had 10 years under his belt ”as a player in the minors.
“He has upper baseball knowledge,” Tomlin added. “I am sure he will have a great coaching career.”
Quade Tomlin, who turns 20 on Feb. 11, played shortstop in high school in Lynchburg, Virginia but saw a lot of action at second base and third base in Florida.
“It was a good experience, for sure. I made a lot of life-long friends that I got to spend the year with, so that was great, ”he said.
“Baseball-wise, it was definitely a learning experience for me. Personally, seeing the bike all year round was kind of an adjustment going from a local, smaller area. But it went well; I learned a lot. Once again, God was good. ”
He spent a lot of time with hitting coach Mark Harris, a native of southwest Virginia.
“He is great and our relationship blossomed from there,” Tomlin said of the former minor league player.
“I have been in contact with him all off-season. He has been helping me and that has been awesome. ”
“The first year was definitely a learning year. A lot of the guys usually say that, ”he added.
Tomlin also picked up tips from pro veterans such as outfielder Alex Keller and pitcher Aaron Barrett, both of whom spent time on rehab in the Florida Complex League in 2021.
Keller played in college at Princeton and played several years in the minors for Washington while Barrett made his Major League debut out of the bullpen with the Nationals in 2014.
“It was very cool learning from those guys,” Tomlin said. “The biggest difference for me was the speed of the game.”
Tomlin was impressed with fellow infielder Brady House, the first-round pick of the Nationals out of a Georgia high school in 2021.
House had an OPS of .970 as a shortstop for the Florida Complex League team in 2021.
“I kind of knew Brady because of travel ball. You want to talk about a God-given, raw talent. Obviously, he is going to have a great career, ”Tomlin said.
“I kind of knew Brady because of travel ball. You want to talk about a God-given, raw talent. Obviously, he is going to have a great career, ” @Nationals prospect Quade Tomlin told me today about fellow infielder Brady House, who had .970 OPS in his pro debut.@federalbaseball
– David Driver (@DaytonVaDriver) January 28, 2022
Tomlin has worked out this off-season in central Virginia with the goal of putting on 15 pounds before heading to Florida for Spring Training.
He hopes to get up to 215 before the season and is around 208 now.
He is working out with former high school teammate and catcher Wes Clarke, who is now in the Milwaukee farm system after he was drafted out of the University of South Carolina in 2021.
Tomlin also got married in November to Ally, his high school sweetheart. He got home from Florida in mid-September and has been training since then.
“I came home with one goal and that was to be stronger,” Tomlin said.
He played in high school for his father at Lynchburg Christian Academy. The younger Tomlin was one of the top high school players in the state in 2019 and 2020.
“It will definitely be a better year for me,” he said of the coming season.