The Washington Nationals have signed infielder Matt Antonelli to a minor league deal and have invited him to their major league spring camp for the 2011 season.

Antonelli, 25, was the Padres 1st round pick in the June 2006 draft after earning All-American honors while at Wake Forest University.

In his second year in 2007 he split time between Lake Elsinore-A and San Antonio-AA.  Combined he batted .307 with 21 HR, 78 RBI, 123 runs scored and 28 stolen bases.  He was named to Baseball America’s Class A All Star team that season.

In 2008 in only his third season he played at AAA-Portland and struggled batting only .215 with 7 HR and 39 RBI in 128 games.  He was called up to San Diego in September of that season and appeared in 21 games batting only .193 but hit his first major league home run – a three run blast in Dodger Stadium.

He returned to Portland in 2009 and played in only 59 games batting .196.

Last season he had a great spring camp with the Padres and made the team out of spring training batting over .300.  Unfortunately, in his first game was hit by a pitch and broke his wrist and was lost for the season.

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