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.

Jul 212014
 

Potomac Nationals pitcher Austin Voth has been named the Carolina League’s Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week.

As he did the week prior, Voth tossed seven scoreless innings with one walk and eight K’s on the 18th but went one better with only one hit allowed versus two. He retired the last 16 batters he faced.

Unfortunately, the effort did not result in a win as Voth matched up against Wilmington’s Jonathan Dziedzic, who matched him goose egg for goose egg on the scoreboard and also got a no-decision for his efforts. The P-Nats ultimately lost the game, 3-0.

In five starts since his callup from Hagerstown, the 22-y.o. “northpaw” has turned in a quality start each time out with just a single run allowed on home run on June 29th and 36 strikeouts over 33 innings pitched. Between the two levels, Voth is 6-3 with a 1.75 ERA in 18 starts with a WHIP of 0.86 and 110 strikeouts in 102⅔ innings (9.64/9IP).

Jul 012014
 

Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez became the latest Nationals pitchers to earn weekly awards, named as the Pitcher of the Week for the Sally League and the New York-Penn League, respectively for the week of June 23-29.

Giolito, who was named to the Futures Game last week, pitched just once but threw six shutout innings in the nightcap of a doubleheader last Thursday. The Nats #1 prospect struck out a career-best nine batters while tying his season-high for innings pitched. For the season, the soon-to-be 20-year-old is 3-2 in 12 starts with a 2.30 ERA, an FIP of 3.81, and a WHIP of 1.04. In 54⅔ innings, he’s struck 61 (10.04/9IP) and walked 21 (3.46) while giving up five HRs. He’s the second Hagerstown pitcher to earn the award in as many weeks.

Lopez also pitched just once last Thursday, getting one last out (five and 2/3rds IP) and one less K (eight) but three fewer hits (zero) than Giolito in an 11-2 Auburn win. The 20-y.o. is in his third professional season and second north of Florida as he’s split time both this year and last year between the Doubledays and Suns. In three starts for Auburn, he’s 1-1 with a line of 1.23/3.15/0.89 with seven walks and 13 strikeouts in 14⅔ innings thus far in 2014.

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 192014
 

A.J. ColeWith seven-inning complete-game shutout in the first game of last Saturday night’s doubleheader, A.J. Cole earned the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week honors for the period of May 12th to May 18th.

Cole walked none and let up just four hits to earn his fourth win for the Senators. He retired the leadoff batter six times out of seven and allowed just two runners to get into scoring position (single and a double steal in the 1st, a double in the 6th) — both with one out.

Overall, Cole is 4-2 with an ERA of 2.25 (third-best in the E.L.), an FIP of 2.33 (best in the E.L.), and a WHIP of 1.33 with 34 strikeouts (7.65 per 9IP) and seven walks (1.58) in 40 innings pitched.

The 22-year-old was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 draft out of Oviedo HS in Florida. He was traded away in the Gio Gonzalez trade in December 2011 but re-acquired in Mike Morse trade in January 2013. He was rated the No. 2 Nationals prospect by both Baseball America in its 2014 annual book and the MLB Pipeline Top 20.

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 262013
 

Blake SchwartzApparently, nine shutout innings trumps eight no-hit innings.

Blake Schwartz got the nod for the weekly honors over Wilmington’s Sam Selman, in large part because Selman got knocked around five days earlier by the P-Nats in a 5-3 loss.

This, of course, does not diminish the accomplishment of Schwartz, who probably would have won on any other night with just five hits let up over nine innings with no walks and four strikeouts.

The 23-year-old Minnesota native currently leads the Nationals organization in wins (13) and is third in ERA (2.42), WHIP (0.98) and opp. BA (.215). He was a 17th-Round pick in the 2012 Draft out of Oklahoma City University (NAIA), where he spent his senior season after three previous seasons with Minnesota State (Div. II).

Schwartz was also named to this site’s “Notable Arms” on the 2013 Watchlist, in large part because he made the rare jump from the GCL to the Suns last summer. He is the third Potomac pitcher to win the weekly award, following Taylor Hill (April 15-21) and two-time winner A.J. Cole (April 22-28, June 10-16).

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
 

Tyler MooreTyler Moore kept the International League Batter of Week award in Syracuse for another week, earning the recognition for his play the week of July 29 to August 4th. It’s the second time this season Chiefs batters have won the award back-to-back, both times following Zach Walters (June 10-16, July 22-28).

Moore singled just once last week, but doubled four times, and hit three home runs to drive in 13 runs. He scored seven times and put up a line of .308/.379/.808. Since his demotion last month, the 26-y.o. Missippi native has hit safely in 17 of 20 games and raised his AAA average from .184 to .307 with a 29-for-76 binge, including seven doubles, five HRs, and 24 RBI.

Moore is perhaps most famous for the run he made in the second half of the 2010 season, in which he won the Carolina League Batter of the Week Award four straight weeks en route to winning the Carolina League MVP, the MiLBY High-A Batter of the Year, and the Nationals Batter of the Year while leading the Potomac Nationals to the Carolina League Championship.

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.