MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Severino among Nationals' 20 non-roster invites

Infielder Dykstra and catcher Kieboom will also attend first big league camp

Severino among Nationals' 20 non-roster invites

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals on Thursday released a list of their 20 non-roster invitees to Spring Training.

While invitations for players such as Evan Meek, Heath Bell, Dan Uggla and Kila Ka'aihue had been announced earlier in the offseason, there were some new names added Thursday.

Players such as catchers Pedro Severino and Spencer Kieboom and infielder Cutter Dykstra, the son of former Major Leaguer Lenny Dykstra, will get their first taste of big league Spring Training.

The Nats are very high on Severino, who is considered to be an exceptional defensive backstop. While playing for Class A Hagerstown in 2013, he threw out 40 percent of would-be basestealers.

But that number doesn't tell the whole story about Severino, 21, who has impressed with his game-calling ability and is considered a leader when dealing with a pitching staff.

Severino is ranked as the 11th-best prospect in Washington's farm system, and he advanced to Class A Potomac last season, hitting .247 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 94 games.

Nationals pitchers and catchers are slated to report to the team's Spring Training facility in Viera, Fla., on Feb. 19, while the position players will report five days later.

Dykstra, who came from the Brewers in a deal for Nyjer Morgan in 2011, had a productive season for Double-A Harrisburg last year, hitting .274 with six home runs and 49 RBIs and a .349 on-base percentage in 96 games. He was also selected as a midseason All-Star.

Kieboom's RBI single

Kieboom is coming off a productive season with Hagerstown, where he hit .309 with nine home runs and 61 RBIs in 87 games. He was named a South Atlantic League midseason all-star and a MiLB.com organization all-star.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.