Washington Nationals Minor Leagues: Players Of The Week (4/8-4/19)
By Ricky Keeler
Harrisburg Senators (5-6)
Hitter Of The Week: 2B Tony Renda (.326, 0 HR, 3 RBI’s)
The Harrisburg Senators have only hit three home runs thru the first 11 games of the season, but they do have a player who is right up there among the league leaders in the hit category. Second baseman Tony Renda (#23) has 15 hits in his first 11 games, which is tied for the most in the Eastern League.
The 24-year-old recently had a eight-game hitting streak snapped on Saturday afternoon against Binghamton, a stretch which included four multi-hit games. Four of Renda’s 15 hits have been for doubles, which are two behind the league lead.
Last season, at high-A Potomac, Renda hit .307 with 47 RBI’s and stole 19 bases. The second round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft is showing out of the gate why he is one of the best, if not the best second baseman in the organization right out of the gate.
Honorable Mention: 3B Matt Skole (.184, 2 HR’s, 7 RBI’s)
Again, Harrisburg doesn’t have much power in their lineup, so Skole has to get some mention here. He has two home runs, which included a grand slam against the Bowie BaySox back on April 14. One of the things that Skole has done well recently is worked the count against opposing pitcher. He has two walks in three of his last four games and has seven walks over that four-game stretch.
This is Skole’s third season at Harrisburg and he is coming off a year in which he hit 14 home runs and drove in 68 runs. The fifth round pick in the 2011 draft will look to bring some lumber to a lineup that could use it going forward.
Pitcher Of The Week: Austin Voth (2-0, 2.50 ERA)
When you talk about this Senators rotation, they have two names that immediately come to mind, Austin Voth and Joe Ross. The ace of the staff is Austin Voth. Voth (#10 prospect) had a 7-7 record in 24 starts amongst three levels last year with a 2.77 ERA. He struggled at Harrisburg last year, going 1-3 with a 6.52 ERA in five starts.
However, Voth has used that experience to help start his 2015 season. In his three starts so far, he has throw six innings in each one and has given up one run or fewer in two of those games. He did give up four runs against Bowie on April 14, but recorded the win. With just two walks in three games, keep an eye on Voth’s control and don’t sleep on this 22-year old pitcher who is behind guys like Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in most rankings.
Honorable Mention: SP Paolo Espino (2-0, 3.27)
Espino doesn’t get the attention that Voth or Ross might get, but he is the only starting pitcher, other than Voth that has a win for the Senators. Back on April 11, against the Altoona Curve, Espino had a one-hitter thru six innings, struck out four batters, and walked one. While he gave up four runs to Binghamton in a win yesterday, the 28-year old right hander has thrown over 85 pitches in both of his outings.
Last season, Espino was 6-5 with 3.98 ERA in 24 starts. His post All-Star Game ERA of 3.54 was an improvement from his pre-ASG ERA, which was 4.31. Espino may be far removed from being named pitcher of the week in 2011, but don’t sleep on this guy, even amongst all the big names.
Next: High-A: Potomac Nationals