September 19, 2014

Washington Nationals’ Minor Leaguers Receive End of Year Honors

In the past several days, four players and one manager in the Washington Nationals’ organization earned awards for their spectacular performances on the diamond.

At the double-A level, Michael A. Taylor, who made his big-league debut with a homer on August 12, was award the Eastern League Rookie of the Year Award for his play with the Harrisburg Senators. Along with this honor, he had the opportunity to represent the organization, along Lucas Giolito, in the MLB Futures Game at All-Star Weekend and was selected as an Eastern League All-Star at the mid-season point.

Below is an excerpt from a press release by the Senators with a little more on the 23-year old outfielder.

Taylor hit .313 with 22 home runs and 61 RBI in 98 games with the Senators this season. He also stole 34 bases in 42 attempts. Despite his promotion to AAA Syracuse on August 4, Taylor still leads the team in average, home runs, RBI, stolen bases, total bases and runs scored. Taylor went 5-for-13 with three doubles and a triple in four games at AAA before being called up to the Washington Nationals on August 11. The next day in his first career MLB start, Taylor was 2-for-4 with a home run against the New York Mets.

At the triple-A level, Steven Souza Jr. was named the International League MVP, Rookie of the Year and to the post-season All-Star team on Tuesday afternoon. Souza made his major league debut with the Nationals this past April and was also selected to play in the triple-A All-Star Game.

Below is an excerpt with more on Souza’s season with the Syracuse Chiefs.

Souza currently leads the League in all three slash-line categories; batting average (.354), on-base percentage (.435) and slugging percentage (.601). In 91 games with the Chiefs, Souza’s collected 23 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs, 70 RBIs, 49 walks and 24 stolen bases.

Joining Souza on the postseason All-Star team will be Syracuse shortstop Emmanuel Burriss (.307 BA, .383 OBP) and third basemen Brandon Laird (.303 BA, 16 HR, 81 RBI). Billy Gardner Jr. was tabbed the International League Manager of the Year in just his first season as the skipper of the ball club.

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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 Nationals and Wizards. He is currently earning a degree in Sports Communications at Shepherd University. Brian was the author of the D.C. sports blog "The Skinny on Sports" but has been a contributor to Yahoo Sports and Rant Sports in recent years. You can follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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