One of the newest additions is a tall right-hander with a stern mound presence, 23-year-old Koda Glover, who has impressed members of the Nationals organization as much as any of the others. Drafted last June, Glover began the season at Class A Potomac. Two weeks ago, he moved up to the Senators.
“It’s just a blessing. It’s a thrill,” Glover said. “I enjoy it. All of it. It’s definitely a rush moving that quick.”
Glover was predominantly a starter when pitching in junior college at Eastern Oklahoma State. When he transferred to Oklahoma State for his junior season, the Cowboys moved Glover to closer.
“I enjoyed it. From the mentality standpoint, I like coming in and just bulldogging it,” Glover said. “I like showing what I have.”
What Glover has is the stature the Nationals covet — tall, imposing, and “projectable” to get even stronger as the years go by. He has a mid-90s fastball he couples with an ahead-of-his-years change-up. One rival evaluator — and more and more are keeping an eye out for Glover as they scout Giolito, Lopez and the rest of the more established prospects — said he thought Glover could pitch in his team’s bullpen in the very near future. For now, Glover is in Class AA, which is generally regarded as the proving ground for top prospects.
“The hitters are better and things like that,” Glover said, “but learning from all the guys that have been here and done it for years is key.”
Glover did not allow a run in seven outings in High-A Potomac, or in his first two outings — three innings total — with the Senators. Last week, he allowed his first home run of the season — just the third of his professional career — and in consecutive outings conceded three, then two earned runs.
Various members of the Nationals organization have lauded Glover’s demeanor, and see a fearless mentality built for relief work — perhaps even to close. The Nationals generally draft or develop starters and convert them to relievers — see Sammy Solis, Blake Treinen, Felipe Rivero, etc. — but have had success developing career relievers, too. Drew Storen, for example, also reached Class AA within a year of being drafted.
“I’m just taking it day by day, listening to [pitching coordinator] Paul Menhart, learning new things and listening to the guys,” Glover said last week. “Just kind of taking it all in.”