With the catching depth surprisingly barren for the NL East champion Washington Nationals, you'd think a top catching prospect who's already on the 40-man roster would have a pretty healthy chance to breathe down Matt Wieters' neck this year.
Especially if his postseason throwing foibles carried over into the regular season and Miguel Montero failed to find himself.
Unfortunately, instead of filling it with optimism, Nats No. 9 prospect Raudy Read has seen his Spring get cut to a clattering halt. Just ahead of his report date, Read has been given an 80-game drug suspension, and he'll instead hit the pine.
Read, ranked ninth in the system by Baseball America and 14th by MLB Pipeline, hit .265 with 17 homers and 61 RBI for Double-A Harrisburg last season, and knocked .273 in an 11 at-bat big league cameo following the minor league season's end.
His path, actually, has been fairly linear since finally elevating out of the ranks of rookie ball at the end of 2013, leaping a level each season.
The portly catcher is ostensibly bat-first, and while we won't pass judgment, we're interested to see which tools carry over following this hefty suspension.