Infante enjoys Nationals camp

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In 2020, Samuel “Sammy” Infante and his family rented a house in West Palm Beach, an hour away from his Hialeah home, to throw a party to celebrate the shortstop’s selection in the amateur draft.

At the time, Infante didn’t realize how close he was – literally – to the next step in his career.

That night, Infante was selected in the second round by the Nationals, whose training venue is at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, in the same city where he celebrated. It was a coincidence that Infante was so close on draft night, but it is through effort that he is now there for the club’s minor league camp.

“It’s a different baseball world [desde el Draft]said Infante, 20, of Dominican parents. “I’ve learned as much as a young boy and a ballplayer who is day and night.”

Infante is considered the Nationals’ 14th prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Last year, he competed in the Florida Complex League and slashed .215/.329/.364 with 26 hits, 15 RBIs, three home runs and three stolen bases in 37 games. Infante divided his time on defense between second base (136.2 innings, .969 fielding percentage) and shortstop (101.2 innings, .938 fielding percentage).

Facing top prospects from other teams was an eye-opening experience.

“I was there all year last year, and I learned how to fight through adversity,” Infante said. “In my baseball career before I turned pro, I didn’t face a lot of adversity – it was more like win, win, win and have a good time. Now here, I’ve had some tough times, some really good times that I learned a lot from.”

This winter, Infante made adjustments to all aspects of his game. Improving his hitting mechanics at speed, increasing his physical strength and practicing second base fielding and short stops, he approached his job with the goal of becoming an everyday player who won’t miss a game this season.

“If there’s one thing I don’t want to do, it’s sit back and miss out on all the fun,” Infante said. “I just want to do my part so that the team succeeds.”

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Infante enjoys Nationals camp