Nats send down young catcher Severino

Baker impressed with club's No. 10 prospect, who heads to Triple-A

Nats send down young catcher Severino

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker had some high praise for catcher Pedro Severino, who was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Friday.

Severino -- the team's 10th-rated prospect by -- appeared in 16 games during the Grapefruit League season and batted 7-for-16 (.438) with two doubles and four runs scored. He also impressed Baker with his ability to call a game.

"I love him, I think he's going to be an All-Star some day," Baker said. "He's learning how to hit, he has a great attitude, he blocks well, he runs well for a catcher, he throws well."

Severino, 22, has been on a steady rise through the Nationals' system since 2013, his first full season in Class A. He is viewed as one of the best defensive catchers in the Minors, and his bat has started to develop the past few years. He appeared in two games as a September callup last season and batted 1-for-4 with a double.

Baker did not want to place a timetable on when he thought Severino would be ready to stay in the Majors but was impressed by what he saw.

"Everybody gives timetables of when a guy's going to be ready," Baker said. "Sometimes you just have to refrain from trying to rush him because you see what he might be."

Jamal Collier is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.