The Washington Nationals named first baseman Jose Marmolejos their Minor League Player of the Year and right-handed pitcher Austin Voth their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The club also named right-handed pitcher Austen Williams the recipient of the third-annual Bob Boone Award.
Marmolejos, 22, led the South Atlantic League in hits (145), doubles (39) and RBI (87), ranked second in the league in slugging percentage (.485) and batting average (.310), and ranked third in OPS (.848) while playing in a team-high 124 games for Washington’s Single-A affiliate. He paced the Nationals’ Minor League system in hits (145), doubles (39), RBI (87), slugging percentage (.485) and batting average (.310).
A former non-drafted free agent, Marmolejos had a particularly strong second half of the season, hitting .335 with 24 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 55 RBI, 27 walks and 37 runs scored in the final 70 games of the season. All told, the first baseman hit .310 with 39 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs, 87 RBI, 35 walks and 63 runs scored in 2015. For his efforts, he was named a South Atlantic League post-season All-Star.
Marmolejos is in his fifth season in the organization. He was signed by Modesto Ulloa on June 9, 2011 after going undrafted in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. On September 9th, he was selected eighth overall by Tigres del Licey in the 2015 Dominican Winter League Rookie Draft.
Voth, 23, led all Nationals farmhands with 148 strikeouts and he ranked third in the organization with a 2.92 ERA. His 148 strikeouts ranked second in all of Double-A and were tied for ninth in all of Minor League Baseball. Voth went 6-7 with a 2.92 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) for the Harrisburg Senators, Washington’s Double-A Eastern League affiliate.
A fifth-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Washington, Voth led the Eastern League in strikeouts (148), strikeouts/9.0 innings (8.47) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.70). He also ranked among league leaders in hits/9.0 innings (2nd, 7.67), WHIP (5th, 1.11), home runs/9.0 innings (5th, 0.57), ERA (8th, 2.92) and walks/9.0 innings (9th, 2.29). He earned Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors September 7th and was named an Eastern League mid-season All-Star.
Williams, 22, becomes the third recipient of the Bob Boone Award, which is granted annually to the Nationals minor leaguer who best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the ‘Washington Nationals Way.’
Williams went 12-8 with a 2.58 ERA in 25 starts across three levels of Washington’s Minor League system. He began the season with Single-A Hagerstown before being promoted to Triple-A Syracuse for a spot start on June 4. He was then transferred to Single-A Potomac on June 11, where he finished the season. Williams struck out 106 batters, walked 33, surrendered just five home runs and posted a 1.10 WHIP while opposing batters hit .231 against him. He ranked among Nationals Minor Leaguers in ERA (2nd, 2.58), wins (2nd, 12) and strikeouts (T4th, 106).
Selected in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas State University, Williams was named a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star after going 8-1 with a 2.10 ERA (17 ER/73.0 IP) in 13 starts for Single-A Hagerstown.
The Nationals will honor these players in a ceremony at Space Coast Stadium during 2016 Spring Training.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS ORGANIZATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
2015: 1B Jose Marmolejos (Player of the Year), RHP Austin Voth (Pitcher of the Year), RHP Austen Williams (Boone)
2014: OF Steven Souza Jr. (Player of the Year), RHP Lucas Giolito (Pitcher of the Year), INF Wilmer Difo (Boone)
2013: OF Billy Burns (Player of the Year), RHP Taylor Jordan (Pitcher of the Year), 2B Tony Renda (Boone)
2012: INF Matthew Skole (Player of the Year), RHP Nathan Karns (Pitcher of the Year)
2011: INF Steve Lombardozzi (Player of the Year), RHP Brad Peacock (Pitcher of the Year)
2010: OF Tyler Moore (Player of the Year), LHP Tom Milone (Pitcher of the Year)
2009: C Derek Norris (Player of the Year), RHP Brad Meyers (Pitcher of the Year)
2008: OF Leonard Davis (Player of the Year), RHP Jordan Zimmermann (Pitcher of the Year)
2007: OF Justin Maxwell (Player of the Year), LHP John Lannan (Pitcher of the Year)
2006: INF Kory Casto (Player of the Year), RHP Zechry Zinicola (Pitcher of the Year)
2005: INF Kory Casto (Player of the Year), LHP Michael O’Connor (Pitcher of the Year)
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals announced their 2016 schedule on Tuesday, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, revealing an 81-game home slate that will begin with the home opener on April 7 vs. the Miami Marlins. The 83rd home opener in D.C. since 1901 will come after the Nationals begin the season at Atlanta with a two-game series April 4-6. Visit nationals.com to view the full schedule.
Nationals Park will play host to 11 homestands, four of which will span 10 days, and include 13 weekend series. The home schedule will be highlighted by visits from the American League Central in Interleague play. The Nationals will welcome the Minnesota Twins (April 22-24), Detroit Tigers (May 9-11), and the Cleveland Indians (Aug. 9-10), and will visit the Chicago White Sox (June 7-9), the Kansas City Royals (May 2-4), and Cleveland (July 26-27).
The Nationals will celebrate with holiday crowds twice in 2016, first with the annual Fourth of July contest, as the Milwaukee Brewers visit the nation’s capital for the nation’s birthday, and concluding with a visit from the Philadelphia Phillies on Labor Day (Sept. 5).
Weekends at Nationals Park will feature visits from the Miami Marlins (April 7-10, May 13-15, Sept. 30-Oct. 2), Minnesota Twins (April 22-24), St. Louis Cardinals (May 26-29), Philadelphia Phillies (June 10-12, Sept. 8-11), Cincinnati Reds (July 1-3), Pittsburgh Pirates (July 15-17), San Diego Padres (July 22-24), San Francisco Giants (Aug. 5-7), Atlanta Braves (Aug. 12-14), and Colorado Rockies (Aug. 26-28).
The Nationals’ road slate features two west coast trips as the club will travel to San Diego and Los Angeles in June (16-22) before closing that 10-game trip with a three-game set in Milwaukee. The Nationals will then head west once more at the end of July as they close a nine-game trip that begins in Cleveland (July 26-27), with stops in San Francisco (July 28-31) and Arizona (Aug. 1-3).
The annual Beltway Series with the Baltimore Orioles will take place in August during a four-game home-and-home. The Nationals will travel to Baltimore at the end of a nine-game trip that starts in Colorado (Aug. 15-17), stops in Atlanta (Aug. 18-21) and wraps up in Baltimore (Aug. 22-23). The two Mid-Atlantic teams will then head down to D.C. to finish up the series with two at Nationals Park (Aug 24-25).
Nineteen of the Nationals’ first 22 games will come against divisional foes. Washington will finish the 2016 season playing 25 of their final 32 games within the National League East as well.
The Nationals will conclude the 2016 regular season with a seven-game homestand that will feature a four-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks (Sept. 26-29) and finish with three games against the Miami Marlins (Sept. 30-Oct. 2).
All dates and opponents on this schedule are subject to change. Visit nationals.com to view the full schedule. To secure the best seats at the best price with a 2016 NATS PLUS Membership, visit nationals.com/natsplus, call 202.675.NATS(6287) or email at email@example.com.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated center fielder Denard Span from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, and optioned right-handed pitcher Tanner Roark to Single-A Potomac.
Span, 31, returns to the Nationals after missing 40 games due to back tightness. The Nationals’ leadoff man is coming off six rehab games – spanning stops with Single-A Hagerstown, Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg – in which he hit .412 with a .500 on-base percentage and a .588 slugging percentage. Span went 7-for-17 with one home run, three walks and six runs scored.
In 59 games with the Nationals this season, Span is hitting .304 (72-for-237) with a .367 on-base percentage and a .430 slugging percentage. In 265 plate appearances, Span has clubbed 15 doubles and five home runs, walked 24 times and stolen 11 bases.
One of the most dynamic center fielders in the game, Span is coming off arguably his finest Major League season. Hitting .302 with a Nationals (2005-present) single-season record 184 hits in 2014, Span collected a career-high 52 extra-base hits last season, to go along with a career-best 31 stolen bases. He became just the sixth qualified player in Nationals history to hit .300 or better, joining Cristian Guzman, Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Dmitri Young and Ryan Zimmerman.
Roark, 28, is 4-4 with four holds and one save, along with a 4.54 ERA in 34 games (six games started) this season. The versatile right-hander is career 26-15 with a 3.04 ERA since his MLB debut, Aug. 7, 2013. In that span, Roark has started 42 games for the Nationals, including 31 (15-10, 2.85 ERA) during his breakout 2014 season. While with Potomac Roark will transition to the starting rotation.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals selected the contract of shortstop Trea Turner from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday and placed first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 19, with a left ankle sprain. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Aaron Barrett (right elbow sprain) was transferred to the 60-day DL.
Turner joins the Nationals for the first Major League assignment of his career. Ranked the No. 9 (Baseball America) and No. 12 (MLB.com) best prospect in all of baseball, Turner arrives in the Major Leagues having hit .322 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage in 116 minor league games this season.
Acquired from the San Diego Padres on June 14 – completing the Dec. 18, 2014 three-team trade in which Washington acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Ross and a Player to be Named from the Padres, and sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League left-handed pitcher Travis Ott to the Tampa Bay Rays – Turner has played at two different levels for three different teams this year.
The speedy infielder hit .322 (73-for-227) with 13 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 35 RBI, 24 walks, 11 stolen bases and 31 runs scored in 58 games for San Diego’s Double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions, to open his 2015 season. He posted a .385 on-base percentage, a .471 slugging percentage and an .856 OPS along the way.
After officially joining the Nationals’ organization, Turner hit .359/.366/.513 with four doubles, one triple, four RBI, one walk and four stolen bases in 10 games with Double-A Harrisburg. Turner, 22, was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse on June 26, and has hit .314/.353/.431 with seven doubles, three triples, three home runs, 13 walks, 14 stolen bases and 15 RBI in his first experience (48 games) at the highest level of the minor leagues.
Turner joined right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito in representing the Nationals at the Sirius/XM MLB All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati in July. He went 2-for-2 with a double, triple, and two RBI in the annual prospect showcase.
A first-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft (No. 13 overall), Turner entered the 2015 season rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Padres’ chain and the No. 65 prospect in all of baseball, per Baseball America, and his stock has risen considerably this season.
Turner boasts advanced speed and base running ability. According to Baseball America, Turner had the “Best Strike-Zone Discipline,” and was the “Best Athlete” and “Best Defensive Infielder” in the San Diego Minor League system prior to his trade to Washington.
Moore, 28, is hitting .200 for the Nationals this season with 10 doubles, four home runs and 22 RBI. Appearing predominantly off the Nationals’ bench (Moore has started 28 games, 1B: 17; OF: 11), the Mississippi native has four pinch hits and one pinch-hit home run in 2015.
The Washington Nationals acquired All-Star right-handed pitcher Jonathan Papelbon from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Minor League right-handed pitcher, Nick Pivetta. President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements. Papelbon, a six-time All-Star and one of the most prolific closers in Major League Baseball history, joins the Nationals after spending the last three-plus seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA (7 ER/39.2 IP) and is 17-for-17 in save opportunities this season. He has tallied 40 strikeouts, issued eight walks and has allowed opposing batters to hit .211 against him. He is one of only three MLB closers to be perfect in save opportunities and ranks among National League relievers in ERA (7th, 1.59) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (T10th, 5.00),
Since assuming the closer’s role for the Boston Red Sox in 2006, Papelbon has converted 342 saves, the most in Major League Baseball during the last 11 seasons. His 342 saves are good for 12th in MLB history and are third-most among active pitchers. He also ranks among MLB relievers in strikeouts (1st, 727), strikeout-to-walk ratio (5th, 4.85), walks and hits/innings pitched (6th, 1.00) and ERA (8th, 2.30) since 2006.
In 2014, he became just the fifth reliever in MLB history to convert at least 25 saves in nine consecutive seasons, joining Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, John Wetteland, and Troy Percival. On June 10 vs. San Diego, he became the 26th pitcher in MLB history to record 300 saves, tying Trevor Hoffman as the second fastest player to reach the 300 save mark.
Papelbon converted 39 saves in 2014, his most since converting a career-high 41 saves for the Boston Red Sox in 2008. He ranked among National League relievers in save percentage (T4th, 90.7%), saves (T5th, 39), walks and hits/innings pitched (8th, 0.90) and opponents OPS (9th, .500). With 66 games pitched, he appeared in 50 or more games for the ninth straight season and 60 or more for the seventh year in a row. On August 26, 2014 vs. Washington, he converted his 100th career save as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies and became the first player in MLB history to convert at least 200 saves in one league (AL, BOS – 219) and 100 saves in another league (NL, PHI – 123).
Papelbon, 34, is 37-30 with a 2.32 ERA over his 11 Major League seasons with Boston (2005-2011) and Philadelphia (2012-2015). He was selected in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of Mississippi State University. During his time with the Phillies, he supported youth living in Philadelphia-area foster programs through his participation in “Papelbon’s Pen” charitable ticket program. He and his wife, Ashley, have a daughter, Parker, and a son, Gunner.
Pivetta, 22, was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of New Mexico Junior College. He was 7-6 with a 3.02 ERA in 18 games/17 starts between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.
The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated infielder Anthony Rendon from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-handed pitcher Abel de Los Santos to Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday.
Rendon, 24, returns to the Nationals’ active roster after missing 25 games with a left quad strain. He appeared in six Minor League rehab games with Single-A Potomac, hitting .471 (8-for-17) with two doubles, one RBI, three walks and two runs scored.
The Nationals’ first-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Rendon is coming off a superb 2014 season in which he took home the National League Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award for third basemen and finished fifth in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting.
Rendon, who is an exceptional defender at second and third base, hit .287 with 39 doubles, six triples, 21 home runs, 83 RBI, 58 walks and 111 runs scored in 153 games in 2014. The gifted infielder ranked fourth in the Major Leagues (second in the NL) in wins above replacement (6.6), according to FanGraphs.com, at the conclusion of the season.
de Los Santos, 22, appeared in two games for the Nationals allowing one earned run on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 1.2 innings of relief. He made his Major League debut on July 21 vs. New York.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals recalled right-handed pitcher Joe Ross from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday and optioned infielder Wilmer Difo to Double-A Harrisburg. Ross will start for the Nationals against the Mets on Tuesday night.
Ross, 22, returns to the Nationals for his second Major League stint of the season. The Nationals selected Ross’ contract from Double-A on June 6 and the rookie right-hander dazzled in three starts for Washington, going 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA. The first Major League assignment of Ross’ career included eight innings of two-run baseball over the Milwaukee Brewers on June 13 and one run over 7.1 IP in his next start, June 19 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Ross, who has posted a 2.6 walks/9.0 IP mark over the course of his Minor League career, faced 51 Major League batters before he issued his first walk, a new Nationals (2005-present) record.
Since returning to the Minor Leagues, Ross has worked to a 3-1 record with a 2.19 ERA over five starts in his first experience at the Triple-A level. With Syracuse, Ross has never allowed more than three earned runs in a start.
Ross was acquired, along with infielder Trea Turner, from the San Diego Padres in a three-team trade that sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League left-handed pitcher Travis Ott to the Tampa Bay Rays on December 18, 2014. He was originally selected by the Padres in the first round (No. 25 overall) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Difo, 23, is 1-for-8 (.125) in the Major Leagues this season. The Nationals’ No. 8 prospect, per Baseball America’s mid-season rankings, is hitting .296 with a .343 on-base percentage and a .416 slugging percentage in 63 Minor League games this season across High Single-A and Double-A.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Abel de Los Santos from Double-A Harrisburg on Monday and optioned right-handed pitcher Blake Treinen to Triple-A Syracuse. Left fielder Jayson Werth was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear space for de Los Santos on the 40-man roster.
de Los Santos, 22, is 4-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 26 appearances (31.1 IP) for Double-A Harrisburg this season. The Dominican Republic-native has not allowed a run since June 8 – a 15-inning stretch (nine appearances) in which he has held opposing batters to a .104 average and struck out 15.
The hard-throwing right-hander has struck out 8.4 batters per nine innings this season in the Eastern League (career K/9: 9.1) and has posted a 0.884 WHIP. He has allowed only nine extra-base hits (7 doubles, 2 home runs) and walked just eight while striking out 35.
de Los Santos was acquired from the Texas Rangers, along with second baseman Chris Bostick, in exchange for left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler on Dec. 12, 2014.
Though he made eight appearances to begin 2014 with Single-A Hickory of the South Atlantic League, de Los Santos spent the majority of his season with Single-A Myrtle Beach (33 games), where he was 5-2 with a 1.97 ERA. Signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Rangers in 2010, de Los Santos worked to a 0.959 WHIP and struck out 10.4 batters per nine innings in 2014.
Treinen, 27, is 2-2 with a 4.39 ERA in 32 appearances (41.0 IP) out of the Nationals’ bullpen in 2015. His 44 strikeouts rank 16th in the National League and he has walked 21 batters this season.
by Amanda Comak
Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper was announced Sunday night as a starter in the 2015 Major League All-Star Game. Harper earned his selection to the National League team by garnering 13,964,950 fan votes, the most votes of any player ever to appear on the National League ballot and third-most votes for any player in MLB this season.
Harper, 22, entered Sunday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants hitting .344 with a .470 on-base percentage and a Major League-best .719 slugging percentage. In 75 games this season, Harper has hit 25 home runs to go along with 19 doubles and one triple. He has walked 60 times in 319 plate appearances.
The Nationals’ right-fielder, who won back-to-back National League Player of the Week awards in May, as well as the National League Player of the Month Award for the same month, currently leads the Major Leagues in on-base percentage (.470), slugging percentage (.719) and on-base plus slugging percentage (1.189). He ranks tied for second in the Major Leagues in home runs (25), third in walks (60) and fourth in RBI (60). His batting average (.344) ranks fourth, and his 57 runs scored slot in fifth.
With his 25th home run, hit on Saturday vs. the Giants, Harper became just the seventh player in Major League history, age 22 or younger, to hit 25 home runs in the season’s first 81 games. He joined four Hall of Fame players (Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Mathews, Joe DiMaggio, Mel Ott) on that list, along with Alex Rodriguez. On May 6 vs. the Miami Marlins, Harper became the 10th-youngest player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a single game.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two other players in Major League history have hit .340 or better with at least 25 home runs, 60 RBI and 60 walks through July 4th – Hall of Famers Frank Thomas (1994 and 2000) and Babe Ruth (1921, 1926-27, 1930).
While Harper’s home runs have drawn him significant praise, as well as placed him in some elite company, Harper’s .470 on-base percentage is more than .100 points higher than any of his previous career marks. Harper has reached base safely (including on errors) in 68 of the 75 games he’s played in this year, and hasn’t been held hitless in back-to-back games since May 4-5.
This will be Harper’s third career All-Star Game selection and his second career All-Star start. Harper, who previously attended the 2012 and 2013 All-Star Games (in Kansas City and New York-NL), started in center field for the National League team in the 2013 contest. Harper, the first three-time All-Star in Nationals history (2005-present), is also the first Nationals player to claim multiple fan-elected starting assignments. He is the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish the feat, joining Hall of Famers Gary Carter (1981-84) and Andre Dawson (1981-83), as well as Tim Raines (1982-83).
The rest of the 2015 Major League All-Star participants will be announced Monday night at 7 p.m. during the “Esurance All-Star Selection Show” on ESPN. The 86th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Tuesday, July 14.