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.

Jul 082013
 

Estarlin Martinez has been named the South Atlantic League’s Batter of the Week for the week ofJuly 1-7, the first Hagerstown Sun to win a weekly award this season.

Martinez, who is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, went 12-for-27 for the week with four doubles, a home run, and eight RBI while scoring seven runs and drawing three walks.

For the season, Martinez is hitting .251/.344/.358 with two HR and 52 RBI. The 21-year-old was on the DL from late April to late May.

He’s in his fourth season with Nationals organization, having begun in the DSL in 2009 and spending 2010 and 2011 in the GCL before making it north of Florida with a season in Auburn last summer, where he posted a strong campaign (.319/.385/.455) that put him on this site’s 2013 watchlist for outfielders for the second straight year.

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.

Jun 172013
 

For the second time this season, three Nationals farmhands earned weekly honors as the pitcher or player of the week for the period of June 10-16.

Zach WaltersZach Walters broke the Syracuse shutout for weekly awards as he won the I.L. Player of the Week award with 11 hits in six games, including three home runs, three doubles and seven RBI for a .579 batting average and an 1.157 slugging percentage. For the season, Walters is hitting .233/.265/.483 with 14HR (4th best in the I.L.) and 32RBI (2nd to Chris Marrero’s 44 for the team lead). The 23-y.o. Wyoming native was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010 and acquired by the Nationals in July 2011 in exchange for RHP Jason Marquis.

Taylor JordanTaylor Jordan kept the E.L. Pitcher of the Week Honors in Harrisburg with five-hit shutout last Thursday against Richmond. The 24-y.o. Floridian walked one and struck out a career-best 11 batters. His season ERA between Potomac and Harrisburg is 0.93, the lowest in minor-league baseball, thanks in no small part to his streak of 19 scoreless innings. His 2013 ascendance mirrors, if not exceeds, that of Nathan Karns in 2012 in his second season since having TJ surgery in the summer of 2011. Jordan was drafted by Washington in the 9th Round in 2009 out of Brevard Community College (Cocoa, FL).

A.J. ColeA.J. Cole “only” struck out 10, and “only” went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, during his Thursday-night start against Frederick. But it was good enough for the 21-y.o. to earn the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week award for the second time this season. For the season, Cole has an overall ERA of 4.16 (an FIP of 3.38, which is slightly worse than league average), having given up four or more runs five times in 13 starts. However, he’s also turned in six quality starts, three in his four appearances. Cole was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 4th round of the 2010 Draft out of Oviedo HS in Florida, then famously traded away in December 2011 as part of the Gio Gonzalez trade. He returned to the organization this past January as part of the Michael Morse trade.

May 282013
 

Michael TaylorPotomac CF Michael Taylor has become the fourth P-Nat to win the Carolina League’s weekly honors, named as the Batter of the Week for the period of May 20-26.

Taylor went 10-for-20 with five straight two-hit games, posting a line of .500/.565/.650 with three doubles, three walks, three runs scored and two stolen bases. His 29 RBI is good for fourth-best in the Carolina League while his 14 steals is third-best.

Originally drafted as a shortstop, the Nationals’ 6th round pick in the 2009 Draft converted to the OF in 2011 and has become one of the organization’s best defensive prospects. He was ranked by Baseball America as Washington’s #11 prospect and has been an outfielder on this site’s watchlist for 2013 and 2012.

May 132013
 

It’s a Harrisburg sweep for the Eastern League’s weekly awards as Anthony Rendon and Paul Demny were named Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of May 6 through 12.

Anthony RendonRendon hit safely in six of seven games, going 12-for-24 with six doubles, two home runs, and eight RBI for a .500 batting average. He also drew six walks and scored five runs. Despite his 15 days spent in the majors, Rendon is leading the Eastern League in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. He was the Nationals’ 1st round pick out of Rice University in the 2011 draft, and the 6th pick overall.

Paul DemnyDemny pitched just once during the timeframe, but nobody got a hit during the eight innings he pitched last Thursday as he combined with Ian Krol for the fourth no-hitter in Harrisburg Senator history. Demny walked three and struck out five for that night, but has struggled to marks of 4.62/3.96/1.38 for ERA/FIP/WHIP for the season with a record of 2-4 in seven starts. He was the Nationals’ 6th round pick out of Blinn (TX) Community College in 2008.

Rendon and Demny are the fifth and sixth Nats farmhands to win weekly honors, following A.J. Cole, Nathan Karns, Taylor Hill, and Jason Martinson (twice).