The Nationals recently signed right-hander Franklyn Kilome to a minor league contract, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. He has been assigned to the team’s Florida complex but will likely head to Triple-A Rochester after spending some time building into game shape.
Kilome is joining his third career organization, all of whom play in the NL East. Signed by the Phillies as an amateur of the Dominican Republic, the 6’6″ hurler developed into one of Philadelphia’s more promising pitching prospects. He drew praise from evaluators for a strong fastball-curveball combination and a projectable frame, but he’s been hampered by control issues throughout his time in pro ball. His stock started to dip as he struggled in Double-A, and Philadelphia sent him to the Mets for veteran infielder Asdrúbal Cabrera at the 2018 trade deadline.
In a seven-start stretch with the Mets’ Double-A affiliate after the trade, Kilome posted the best strikeout and walk marks of his career. Just as it seemed as if he might’ve turned a corner, he underwent Tommy John surgery that October. Kilome spent all of 2019 rehabbing, and he logged the bulk of the 2020 campaign at the alternate training site. He made four MLB appearances with the Mets during the shortened season, allowing 14 runs (including five homers) with 13 strikeouts and nine walks over 11 1/3 innings.
New York designated Kilome for assignment and outrighted him off their 40-man roster last April. He spent the season with Triple-A Syracuse, working to a 3.91 ERA in 46 frames. He started just five of his 21 outings last year, his first season pitching out of the bullpen in the minors. Kilome had a capable run prevention mark in shorter stints, but he only struck out 19.9% of opponents and had an untenable 14.4% walk rate. The Nats are thin in both the rotation and the bullpen, so they could deploy the 26-year-old in either role once he heads to an affiliate.