August 23, 2019

Washington Nationals Minor League Team-by-Team Awards

As the regular season comes to a close for minor league, District Sports Page now takes a look around the Washington Nationals’ organization and reflects a year that was in minor league baseball. (NOTE: These are not “official” awards. They have been selected by the writer.)

Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League, 81-62

Best Pitcher: Taylor Hill – This year has been a big one for right-hander Hill. Not only did he make his big league debut, he also put together quite a season for the Chiefs. In his first full season at triple-A, he went 11-7 in 24 starts with a 2.81 ERA. He pitched four complete games, two of them shutouts. At the halfway point, Hill was selected to the International League All-Star Team.

Silver Slugger and MVP: Steven Souza Jr. – This year was Souza’s first at triple-A. Another first, he also made his big-league debut. With the Chiefs, he bat .350 with a .590 slugging percentage. He hit 25 doubles, 18 homers and 75 RBI. On the bases, he swiped 26 bags. Like Hill, he was also selected to the International League All-Star Team and was recently named the league MVP.

Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League, 53-89

Best Pitcher: Tyler Herron – Ironically, Herron didn’t appear in DSP’s weekly minor league roundups throughout the season, yet here he is being awarded the team’s best pitcher award. The right-handed reliever put together quite the season out of the bullpen for the Senators. In 62.2 innings spanning 48 outings, he finished with a 2.73 ERA and 50 strikeouts.

Silver Slugger and MVP: Michael A. Taylor – The second half of the year was a busy one for Taylor. He bounced around from double-A, triple-A and made his major league debut in which he hit his first career homer in a Nationals uniform. Along with going to the MLB Futures Game and Eastern League All-Star Game, he was awarded the EL MVP Award just a few days ago. On the year, he hit .313 with a .529 SLG. Taylor hit 17 doubles, 22 HR, 61 RBI and stole 34 bases.

Potomac Nationals, High-Class A Carolina League, 78-58

Best Pitcher: Gilberto Mendez – Mendez spent the season in the bullpen for the P-Nats and did well. In 51.2 innings spanning 41 games, he picked up 15 saves, 49 strikeouts and posted a 3.14 ERA.

Silver Slugger: Oscar Tejeda – Tejeda led the team in homers (16) and RBI (65) this year. On the year, the third baseman bat .270 with a .470 slugging percentage. He hit 18 doubles and stole nine bases.

MVP: Tony Renda – Renda was a reliable piece of the puzzle for the P-Nats this year at second base. While he wasn’t the team’s power hitter – he didn’t hit a homer – he did bat .307 with a .381 on-base percentage. Renda led the team in hits with 127, including 21 doubles, four triples and 47 RBI.

Hagerstown Suns, Low-Class A South Atlantic League, 87-53

Silver Slugger: Wiler Difo – The 22 year old infielder put together a sensational season at single-A. Along with being a postseason All-Star, he was named the leagues MVP. Difo put together a .315/.360/.470 slashline, he also hit 31 doubles, 14 HR, 90 RBI and stole 49 bags.

Best Pitcher and MVP: Lucas Giolito – The Nationals first-round pick in 2012, Giolito ended the year after just 98 innings thanks to post-Tommy John surgery protocol. While it was cut short, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t impressive. In 20 starts, Giolito went 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA, 110 strikeouts, just 28 walks and held opponents to a batting average of .197. At the end of the year, he was named Most Outstanding Pitcher and Most Outstanding MLB Prospect.

Auburn Doubledays, Class A Short-Season New York Penn League, 34-41

Best Pitcher: Reynaldo Lopez – Lopez began the season starting for the Doubledays before being promoted to Hagerstown. In seven starts with Auburn, he went 3-2 and posted a .75 ERA. He struck out 31 batters and held opponents to a .125 batting average and .83 WHIP.

Silver Slugger: Raudy Read – Reed swung for the fences early and often for the Doubledays. He finished the season on a five-game hitting streak and led the team in doubles (20), homers (6) and RBI (35). He bat .281 with a .462 SLG and .332 on-base percentage.

MVP: Jose Marmolejos-Diaz – Throughout the season, Marmolejos-Diaz was consistent. The 21 year old infielder bat a slash line of .265/.341/.385 and hit 19 doubles, three triples, a homer and 31 RBI. He led the team in hits with 62.

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Brian Skinnell is a sports writer born and raised in the Washington, D.C.-metro area and covers the Washington Nationals, Wizards and MiLB for District Sports Page. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+!

About Brian Skinnell

Brian Skinnell is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Nationals and college football. He is a born-and-raised follower of Washington, D.C. sports, “The” Ohio State Buckeyes and auto racing. A graduate of Shepherd University in December of 2014, he has a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a Concentration in Sports Communications. Prior to joining District Sports Page (for his second stint), he spent time with Rant Sports, Yahoo Sports and the Washington Redskins. For his day job, he is an Editor for Team Velocity Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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