Washington Nationals Minor Leagues: Players Of The Week (6/1-6/7)

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Harrisburg Senators (22-33)

 Hitter Of The Week: 3B Matt Skole (.191, 8 HR, 24 RBI’s)

The Senators had a tough time scoring this runs this past week, but third baseman Matt Skole found a way to drive in runs. In four games this week, the 25-year-old only had three hits, but one of them went over the fence. On June 4, against the Akron Rubberducks (Cleveland Indians), Skole hit a solo shot in the second inning for his eighth of the season.

That home run was the first for Skole since he hit two home runs against Binghamton (New York Mets) on May 19. Skole is hoping that the month of June goes better for him than what happened in May, when he hit a mere .187. Of course, on a team that doesn’t have much power hitting (24 home runs), Skole’s power is essential.

Honorable Mention: C Pedro Severino (.243, 2 HR, 17 RBI’s)

The 21-year-old catcher has recorded at least one hit in each of his last four games. Yesterday, Severino went 2-for-4 against the Trenton Thunder with a pair of RBI’s. Out of his five hits this week, two of them went for extra bases.

After hitting .321 in the month of April, Severino had a rough May as he hit a mere .159 in 20 games. His on-base percentage is only at .295, but he is still one of the top young catchers in the Nationals organization. Even though he has struggled at the plate, his defense has been good. He has only allowed two passed balls and has thrown out 41% of runners trying to steal, according to Baseball Reference.

Pitcher Of The Week: SP Richard Bleier (3-1, 3.46)

Normally, minor league doubleheaders have each team play two seven-inning games. On June 3, against Akron, Richard Bleier went one inning above that. Bleier got the no-decision in Harrisburg’s 2-1 nine-inning win, but he was excellent. In eight innings, he gave up no runs on seven hits, struck out one, and walked one on 99 pitches (65 strikes).

Since coming to Harrisburg, Bleier has been one of the best pitchers in this rotation. He had a rough game against the Richmond Flying Squirrels on May 27, but aside from that, he has two eight-inning, no run performances in his last three starts. If you span out his performances from Syracuse as well, the left-hander has given up two runs or fewer in eight of his last ten starts.

Honorable Mention: SP Matthew Spann (2-5, 3.38)

Spann has gone back-and-forth between Potomac, Harrisburg, and Syracuse this season, but he has had good starts at all three levels. That didn’t change when he made his start Saturday against Trenton. In that game, the 24-year-old left-hander gave up no earned runs (one unearned run) on five hits, struck out six and walked two on 100 pitches (63 strikes).

Even though it has been on different levels, Spann has given whichever he has pitched for length in ball games. He has gone six innings or more in seven of his last eight starts and has given up two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six. His six strikeouts on June 6 tied a season-high. Spann got the start because Joe Ross was making his debut for the Nationals.

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