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.

Jun 242013
 

Chris RahlSyracuse OF Chris Rahl kept the I.L. Batter of the Week award in Syracuse for the second straight week, earning the weekly honors for the period of June 17-23.

Rahl went 16-for-28 with four doubles, a triple, and HR for a .571/.571/.893 line with four RBI and two stolen bases. His current seven-game hit streak, which is has raised the batting average of the 29-year-old to .299 from .257.

After a slow start in April (.211, 1HR, 4RBI), Rahl has batted .318 with 5HR and 20RBI and 29 runs scored in 43 games played. Last month, he had a streak of 17 games that was ended with an unsuccessful pinch-hit appearance.

Rahl was originally drafted by Arizona in 2005 as a 5th round pick out of the College of William & Mary and played in the Diamondbacks system, maxing out with 87 games played for AAA Reno in 2010. He signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent and played 2011 and 2012 for Harrisburg before returning to AAA this season.

May 062013
 

A.J. ColeWith six shutout innings and nine K’s last Friday night, A.J. Cole earned the Carolina League’s Pitcher of the Week honors for the period of April 29th to May 5th.

Cole walked none and let up just four hits to earn his first High-A win for the Washington organization. He retired the leadoff batter fives times out of six and allowed just one runner to get into scoring position (he was stranded at third after a double play and a strikeout).

Overall, Cole is 1-1 with an ERA of 3.94, an FIP of 2.46, and a WHIP of 1.25 with 34 strikeouts (9.56 per 9IP) and six walks (1.69) in 32 innings pitched.

The 21-year-old was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 draft out of Oviedo HS in… wait for it… Oviedo, FL but traded away to Oakland as part of a four-for-two transaction more commonly known as the Gio Gonzalez trade. Cole was re-acquired this past January in a three-team trade between Seattle, Washington and Oakland.

Apr 222013
 

On the strength of their Saturday night performances, Nathan Karns and Taylor Hill were named the Pitchers of the Week for the Eastern and Carolina Leagues respectively while Jason Martinson repeated as the Player of the Week for the Carolina League for the period of April 15-21.

Nathan KarnsKarns pitched just once during the week, but was masterful: In a 7-inning complete game to open Harrisburg’s doubleheader, Karns settled down from giving up back-to-back doubles with two outs in the first to retire 19 of 20 and the last 15 batters straight while racking up a career-high 13 strikeouts. For the season, the Franklin, PA native is a modest 1-1 with an ERA of 4.60 ERA but has an FIP of 2.94 and a WHIP of 1.09 despite giving up seven runs and seven hits in his first outing.

Taylor HillHill pitched twice during the week, allowing one run on four hits to in a win against Salem last Monday and a one-hit, seven-inning shutout in the opening game of Potomac’s doubleheader on Saturday night. Hill struck out seven and walked none in his masterpiece. The Vanderbilt alum is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA, 0.79WHIP (second-best in the Carolina League) and a 2.52 FIP (fifth-best) in three starts and one relief appearance.

Jason MartinsonMartinson took home player of the week honors for the second straight week, punishing opposing pitchers for a .400 average (10-for-25) including a double, a home run and four RBI in a 12-inning game last Thursday. The 24-year-old Texan is batting .328/.425/.656 overall and is tied for the league lead in HRs with five and leads the Carolina circuit with 15RBI.

Aug 272012
 

Caleb Ramsey has been named the South Atlantic League’s Batter of the Week for the week of August 20 to 26, the second Nationals farmhand to be honored this week.

Ramsey batted safely in five of six games during the week, collecting 10 hits and five extra-base hits, with a pair of doubles, a trio of triples and 10 RBI while scoring five runs and drawing two walks.

He’s the second Sun to earn the Sally League’s Batter of the Week honors, following Steve Souza Jr. (July 2-8). Alex Meyer earned Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of June 11-17.

The 2011 eleventh-round pick out of the University of Houston is batting .324/.407/.465 for the month of August and has played in 120 of the Suns 130 games thus far.

Aug 272012
 

John LannanJohn Lannan became the latest Syracuse pitcher to win the International League Pitcher of the Week award for the period of August 20-26, following Zach Duke (Aug. 6-12) and Tanner Roark (Jul. 23-29), on the strength of his three-hit shutout against Gwinnett on Saturday.

Lannan needed just 87 pitches to cut the gem, throwing 60 for strikes and facing just 29 batters while walking one and striking out two in the 1-0 contest. Presumably, he was a in a better mood afterwards than in the picture above.

Lannan is a 2005 11th-round draft pick out of Siena College who vaulted from High-A Potomac to DC in 2007 with a 12-3, 2.31 ERA performance in the minors and a 2-2, 4.15 mark in the majors. He’s expected to return to the Washington rotation soon, having won both spot starts in July and August.

Lannan is the fourth Syracuse Chief to win the I.L.’s weekly honors, with Corey Brown winning Batter of the Week for May 21-27.