NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced that the Washington Nationals have purchased the contract of RHP Anthony Arguelles from the West Virginia Black Bears. Seven Draft League professional players have had their contracts purchased by a Major League club this season, including five from West Virginia’s roster. Overall, 11 Draft Leaguers’ contracts have been purchased since the Draft League implemented a professional, second-half format in 2022.
The MLB Draft League had 47 players selected in the 2023 MLB Draft, including 34 players who had played in the first half of the 2023 season. The Draft League set a new record with 19 players drafted during Rounds 3-10, including 12 players from the 2023 Draft League season. Six players were drafted within the first five rounds, led by the Draft League’s first-ever Top 100 picks in Sabin Ceballos (No. 94 overall) and Devin Saltiban (98). Since the Draft's conclusion, more than 20 undrafted alums have signed free-agent deals with a Major League team.
Arguelles, 23, was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in four appearances (three starts) for West Virginia this season. In 12 innings, the 5-foot-11 right-hander recorded 13 strikeouts against eight walks while limiting opposing hitters to a .182 average. He allowed one hit over four scoreless innings at Williamsport on Aug. 2 in his second Black Bears start and posted a season-high seven strikeouts in five innings on Aug. 8, earning the win against Mahoning Valley in his final Draft League start.
The Miami, Fla., native pitched in 14 games (13 starts) for Virginia Tech this spring, going 3-1 with a 4.90 ERA. He held opposing hitters to a .239 average over 60.2 innings, tallying 64 strikeouts and 32 walks. Arguelles worked a season-high 7.1 innings against North Carolina on April 28 and had a season-best nine strikeouts against Bowling Green on May 6. Before Virginia Tech, Arguelles posted a 4.58 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 37.1 innings while appearing in 36 games out of the University of Miami’s bullpen from 2021-22.
The Draft League plays an amateur/professional hybrid-format season. After featuring exclusively Draft-eligible players during a 30-game first half of the season (June 1 to July 4), the Draft League transitioned to a professional league in the second half (July 7-Sept. 2), with undrafted, out-of-eligibility players signed to professional contracts comprising the six founding Draft League teams’ rosters while playing a 50-game schedule.