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).
Souza 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.
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.
Syracuse 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.
With 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.
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.
Karns 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.
Hill 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.
Martinson 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.
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.
John 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.
Zach 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).
On 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.
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.
Karns 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.
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.