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Former BYU baseball player Jackson Cluff’s summer changed in an instant

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BYU’s Jackson Cluff scores on a single by Keaton Kringlen during a game against UVU at Miller Park in Provo on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Former BYU baseball player Jackson Cluff’s summer changed on a dime. With no minor league baseball season this summer, Cluff — who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 MLB draft — was camping in Utah when he got a call that would change the course of his summer.

Mark Scialabba, the Washington Nationals’ assistant general manager, called Cluff to tell him he was now on the Nationals’ 60-man roster. Though he hasn’t suited up in a major league game so far, Cluff has been able to get valuable experience practicing at the alternate training site.

“There are still things you can do to improve your game,” Cluff told Federal Baseball. “You can still get better in the cage. Even if I didn’t come out here, I would not think it was a wasted year. It may not be as good as playing every day. Coming out here every day and see live pitching and practicing every day with the guys definitely adds some icing to the cake.”

Cluff played the 2016 and 2019 seasons for BYU before being drafted. He played 62 games in 2019 for Single-A Hagerstown, batting. 229 with eight doubles, five triples, five home runs and 19 RBIs.