Aug 132012
 

Zach DukeZach Duke’s complete-game shutout late in the week cinched the International League’s Pitcher of the Week honors for the period of August 6 to 12.

Duke went the distance in Syracuse’s 6-0 shutout of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, allowing three hits, no walks and striking out seven. A week ago, the I.L. Leader in pitching wins (13) struck out eight over six frames in a 5-4 win over Buffalo.

Combined, he went 2-0 with 15 innings pitched, three runs allowed on eight hits and a walk while striking out 15.

Duke was signed as a free agent at the end of spring training following his release from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was originally drafted by Pittsburgh in the 20th round of the 2001 Draft, making his major-league debut in July of 2005 and representing the Pirates in the 2009 All-Star game.

He is the third Syracuse Chief to win weekly honors, following Tanner Roark (July 23-29) and Corey Brown (May 21-27).

Jul 302012
 

Tanner RoarkOn the strength of his complete game win yesterday, Tanner Roark was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week for the period of July 23 to 29.

Roark twice went seven innings during the week, winning both starts giving up just a run in each outing. He allowed nine hits and two walks while striking out 13 batters combined.

The 25-year-old was acquired at the 2010 trade deadline along with Harrisburg Senator RHP Ryan Tatusko from the Texas Rangers for Christian Guzman, which has led to the nickname of “The Guz Two,” by regular readers here.

Roark currently leads the Syracuse Chiefs in strikeouts, walks, and losses but is also third in innings pitched, and has exceeded 100IP for four straight seasons.

Jul 232012
 

It’s a Potomac sweep for the Player and Pitcher of the Week for the Carolina League, as Nathan Karns and Michael Taylor were named the Pitcher and Player of the Week for the week of July 16-22.

Nathan KarnsKarns threw a total of 12 shutout innings in two starts (Monday, Saturday) giving up a hit, two walks and striking out eight. The 24-year-old is 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA, 0.82 WHIP in nine starts for Potomac, and 9-2 with a 1.95 ERA, 0.90 WHIP in 20 appearances overall. He leads the Nats minors with 122 strikeouts.

Taylor hit safely in six of the seven games during the week, going 14-for29 with four doubles, three home runs, and eight RBI for a Nintendo-esque line of .483/.531/.931. The 21-year-old raised his average from .226 to .245 with the outburst.

Both players are products of the 2009 draft, with Taylor picked in the 6th round and Karns going in the 12th.

Jul 122012
 

Steve Souza Jr. has been named the South Atlantic League’s Batter of the Week, the second straight week a Nationals farmhand has earned that honor.

Souza refused to single for the week (July 2-8), hitting four doubles and five home runs last week for a total of nine runs scored and 12 RBI and line .of .333/.455/1.037. He’s the second Sun to earn weekly honors, joining Alex Meyer, who earned Pitcher of the Week honors for June 11-17.

The 2007 third-round pick out of Cascade High School in Everett, WA is currently riding a seven-game hit streak and is batting .293/.396/.756 for the month of July.

Jun 182012
 

A pair of Nationals pitchers were named Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 11-17, as Alex Meyer won it for the South Atlantic League and Nathan Karns garnered the honor for the Carolina League.

Alex MeyerMeyer threw a rain-shortened six-inning shutout last Tuesday, giving up just two hits and a walk while setting down five on strikes. Yesterday, he whiffed a career-high nine batters but got the no-decision in the Suns’ 5-3 loss to the Power. The 22-year-old is 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA over 14 starts thus for Hagerstown.

Karns pitched just once during the timeframe, throwing six and 2/3rds scoreless innings last Friday in a 3-0 Potomac shutout of Myrtle Beach. He allowed just four hits and walked two while striking out 10, the second time he’s done that this season (May 26). The 24-year-old is 4-2 with two saves and a 2.51 ERA over 14 appearances (eight starts) for Hagerstown and Potomac.

Jun 142011
 

For the sixth time this season, a Nationals farmhand has received a weekly honor, with Steve Lombardozzi earning the Eastern League’s Player of The Week award for the period of June 5 to June 12.

The switch-hitting second baseman went 14-for-26 (.538) with a double, homer, an RBI, eight runs scored, three walks, two stolen bases and a partridge in a pear tree (just checking). The 22-year-old is riding a nine-game hit streak and leads the Eastern League with six triples, his 75 hits is tied for second, giving him the seventh-best batting average at .316. Lombardozzi entered the 2011 campaign as the No. 13 Nationals prospect according to Baseball America.