Aug 042014
 


Harrisburg Senator outfielder Quincy Latimore has been named the Eastern League’s Player of the Week for July 28 to August 3rd.

The 25-y.o. smacked four home runs during the week, including a grand slam last Wednesday and a walkoff solo shot on Thursday; both big flies came in extra innings. Overall, Latimore went 9-for-23 with 11 runs driven in and an OPS 1.438 for the week.

The North Carolina native was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in he 4th Round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians in January 2013 and signed with the Washington Nationals this past offseason. In 85 games for the Senators, he’s put up a line of .294/.362/.452 with 9 HR, 37 RBI, and seven stolen bases.

According to MiLB.com, this is his second Player of the Week Award in his career, the previous coming in May 2009 while he was with the West Virginia Power.

Jul 282014
 

Lucas Giolito and Oscar Tejeda were named the Pitcher of the Week and Player of the Week for the Sally and Carolina Leagues, respectively for the week of July 21-27.

Giolito was near-perfect on Friday night, giving up a leadoff single then retiring the next 18 batters in a row — including seven by way of the K — for six shutout innings and his second Pitcher of the Week award during the month of July. Since returning to action in early June after a three-week layoff in May, the 20-year-old has won four of nine starts and posted a 2.22 ERA over 44⅔ innings with 52 strikeouts, 11 walks, and four HR’s allowed.

Tejeda blasted home runs nos. 15 & 16 last night, including a towering shot off the Pftizner stadium scoreboard that gave the P-Nats a 6-5 walkoff win in 11 innings. The 24-y.o. batted .438 (14-for-32) with four doubles and eight RBI during the week and has been reportedly reassigned to Harrisburg, which wourld return him to the E.L. where he spent the 2011 and 2012 season with Portland and 2013 with Altoona.

Jun 232014
 

Hagerstown took both Pitcher and Player of the Week awards for the Sally League while Brandon Laird was named the Imnternational League’s Batter of the Week for week of June 16-22.

Pivetta pitched just once, but six no-hit innings with one unearned run allowed on one walk and two strikeouts last Friday was enough to earn the honor of the Sally League’s Pitcher of the Week. Hagerstown won the game 9-1 and finished with a combined one-hitter with Andrew Cooper (2IP) and Ryan Ullmann (1IP) finishing up the game. For the season, Pivetta is 9-3 in 13 appearances (12 starts) with a pitcher’s line of 3.57/4.37/1.27 with 47K (6.71/9IP) and 23BB (3.29/9IP) in 63 innings pitched.

Even an 0-for-3 game yesterday couldn’t dissuade voters from naming 19-y.o. (yes, really) Drew Ward as Batter of the Week for the Sally League. Of course, the week was shortened by the All-Star break but in those four games, Ward went 7-for-17 (.412) with three doubles and two home runs for a Nintendo-esque .941 slugging percentage and a .444 on-base percentage. He scored four times and drove in six. The third baseman has struggled on defense (14 errors in 48 games) and has whiffed 60 times in 57 games but has also hit .274/.328/.465 with eight HRs and 48 RBI total on the season thus far.

Brandon Laird did play a full slate, as the I.L. all-star break isn’t for another couple of weeks, and hit .423 with a double, four homers for eight RBI and eight runs scored. The four longballs came in four straight games, one shy of the franchise record set by Corey Brown in 2012. The 26-y.o. was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 27th Round of the 2007 Draft and has seen time at the MLB level with New York (11 games, 2011) and Houston (17 games, 2012; 25 games, 2013) as a corner infielder. He was acquired in a spring-training trade with Kansas City for cash and/or a PTBNL this past March.

May 272014
 

Taylor HillNot too often a starting pitcher gets a win and a save in the same week. Couple that with 11 scoreless innings, and you’ve got the recipe for Taylor Hill’s International League Pitcher of the Week award for May 19-25.

A week ago tonight, Hill scattered six hits over four scoreless innings, participating in two of three double plays turned behind him while notching his first professional save. He returned to the rotation last Saturday night and laid seven goose eggs on top of the scoreboard for his team-leading (and tied for the I.L. Lg. lead) sixth win.

For the season, Hill is 6-1 with an ERA of 1.63 (3rd), an FIP of 3.39 (11th), and a WHIP (2nd) of 0.98 with eight (3rd) walks and 47 strikeouts (15th) over 60⅔ innings (2nd). (Rank among I.L. pitchers with 40+ IP).

The 25-y.o. was originally drafted in the 6th Rd. of the 2011 Draft out of Vanderbilt University and has steadily moved up the ladder, pitching . He is a two-time Watchlist Player (2012, 2014) and has exceeded 100 IP in his two previous full-season campaigns (2012, 2013).

Apr 212014
 

As predicted this morning, Kevin Keyes has indeed been named the Carolina League Player of the Week for April 14-20.

Keyes went 9-for-26 with four home runs, 11 RBI, and eight runs scored for a line of .346/.433/.846. Those four homers also represent his season total, for which he is tied for third place in the Carolina League with teammate Brandon Miller while his tally of 15 RBI is good for second place.

The 25-y.o. native of Austin, TX was drafted in 7th Round of the 2010 Draft out of the University of Texas, three years after being drafter out of Connolly High School by the Rangers. Keyes had an abysmal rookie season in Vermont, batting just .175, though he did draw 24 walks in 39 games.

He rose to prominence in 2011 when he posted a mark of .281/.355/.528 in the second half for the Hagerstown Suns. He moved up to Potomac in 2012, but has stalled there since, struggling with a sub-.300 OBP in his two previous seasons for the P-Nats and seeing his slugging percentage drop from .459 to .370.

In 2013, he was converted from the outfield to first base with relative success, as he’s been able to play adequate defense and show decent range for his size and experience at the position, which earned him a place on the 2013 Watchlist as the position of first base is (and remains) relatively thin in the Washington organization.

Sep 032013
 

Michael TaylorFor the third time this season, Potomac CF Michael Taylor has been named the Carolina League Batter of the Week, earning the honors for the period of August 26 to September 2.

Taylor went 10-for-23 with five doubles, a home run, and five RBI for a line of .435/.536/.783. He scored seven runs and stole six bases to finish second in the stolen base race with 51 stolen bases. Taylor finished third in the league for RBIs with 87, the most for a P-Nat since Tyler Moore’s 111 in 2010.

As noted in the comments, Taylor has become an elite defensive CF in just three years since being converted from SS. He’s now ranked as the #4 prospect on the most recent ranking by MLB.com’s “Pipeline” and is a two-time outfielder on this site’s watchlist.

Aug 192013
 

Jeff KobernusJeff Kobernus became the fourth Chief to win International League Batter of the Week honors, and the fifth winner overall, joining Tyler Moore, Chris Rahl, and two-time winner Zach Walters.

Kobernus went 12-for-32 during the period (August 12-18), posting a line of .375/.382/.406 with four runs scored, six RBI, and six stolen bases. For the month, the 25-y.o. California native has posted a similar line of .360/.380/.373 in the month of August and is currently riding a 14-game hit streak, three less than Rahl. He’s also 2nd in the I.L. in batting average (.323) and steals (39).

The Nats’ 2009 second-round pick was selected by Boston in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft and immediately traded to Detroit, where he attempted to make the Tigers as a utilityman, but was returned on March 23rd. The conversion has continued as he’s actually played more outfield (58 games) than infield (24 games) and committed just two errors this season (one at 2B, one at 3B).

Injuries shortened both his 2010 and 2012 seasons, but has flashed enough speed (81 steals in 164 games the past two seasons, second only to Billy Burns’s 95 in 218 games) to be a three-time watchlist player for this site.

Aug 052013
 

Isaac Ballou has been named the New York-Penn League’s Batter of the Week for the week of July 29-August 4, the first Doubleday to win a weekly award this season.

Ballou, who is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, went 12-for-24 with three doubles, three RBI while scoring eight runs and drawing four walks for a line of .500/.539/.577 for the week.

For the season, Ballou is hitting .307/.404/.405 with two HR and 15 RBI. He’s stolen six bases and scored 23 runs in 42 games for Auburn. He was drafted in the 15th round by the Nationals this past June out of the Marshall University, where he set career records for walks (129) and triples (16). The 23-y.o. native of Smithfield, Va. was also drafted in the 36th round by the Pirates in 2011 but did not sign.

Jul 292013
 

Zach WaltersSyracuse SS Zach Walters was named the I.L. Batter of the Week award in Syracuse for the second time this season, the third position player to win it twice this season (Jason Martinson, Michael Taylor). Pitcher A.J. Cole is also a two-time winner this season.

Walters went 12-for-23 with four doubles, a triple, and three HRs for a .522/.522/1.174 line with five RBI, eight runs scored and a stolen base during the July 22-28 period. Since June 1st, the 23-year-old Wyoming native has hit .325 with 14 home runs and 36 RBI and is batting .264/.291/.552 overall. Walters leads the International League with 55 extra-base hits. His 24 HRs is 3rd in the league.

Originally drafted in 2010 by… wait for it… Arizona, Walters was picked up in a deadline deal in July 2010 for RHP Jason Marquis.

Jul 222013
 

Steve Souza, Jr. and Michael Taylor have been named the Player of the Week for the Eastern and Carolina Leagues, respectively, for the week of July 15-21. It’s the second time Taylor has won the award for the Carolina League and the second time a Senator position player has been named (Anthony Rendon, May 6-12).

Steve SouzaSouza went 10-for-27 for a .370 batting average and collected four doubles, a triple, and two home runs for an .815 slugging percentage. He drew three walks, scored eight runs and drove in six. For the season, the 24-year-old is posting a line of .282/.382/.560 with 14 home runs and 30 RBI in 62 games. He was a 2013 Eastern League All-Star despite having spent nearly six weeks on the DL. This is Souza’s seventh season in the Nationals organization, originally drafted in 2007 as a third-round pick out of Cascade HS in Everett, WA.

Michael Taylor Last night’s 0-fer snapped an eight-game hit streak for Taylor, but the 22-year-old still batted .500 for the week (12-for-24) with five doubles, four runs scored, nine RBI, and three stolen bases. Taylor is currently 3rd in the Carolina League with 61 RBI, and second to teammate Billy Burns with 31 steals. Overall, he’s hitting .275/.343/.434 in 92 games. Taylor was originally drafted in 2009 as a shortstop out of Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, FL but converted to outfield in 2011, where he’s become one of the organization’s best defensive prospects.