Washington Nationals Minor Leagues: Players Of The Week (6/1-6/7)
By Ricky Keeler
Potomac Nationals (25-31)
Hitter Of The Week: 1B John Wooten (.249, 1 HR, 17 RBI’s)
This past week, first baseman John Wooten was tearing it up with all the hits he had for the Nationals’ high-A club. Wooten was 12-for-23 at the plate with seven doubles and five RBI’s. He had multi-hit games in five of his six starts this week, including two three-hit games.
His best game of the past week came on June 1 against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs). In a 4-3, 11-inning win, Wooten was 3-for-5 with a couple of doubles and two RBI’s. This week was need for Wooten after a month of May in which he hit .177 in 27 games. Keep in mind that he had six RBI’s in each of the first two months. He had five last week.
Honorable Mention: 3B Drew Ward (.254, 3 HR, 23 RBI’s)
Like Wooten, Ward had a three-hit performance as well back on June 1 against the Pelicans. In six games last week, the 20-year-old third baseman went 10-for-25 with a home run and a RBI. That home run was a solo shot against the Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) on June 5.
Ward, who is valued as one of the best third baseman in the organization, had a difficult month of May. He hit .193 with two home runs and eight RBI’s. Even with those struggles, he leads the team in RBI’s and is third in on-base percentage (.343). This is a good sign to see Ward bounce back to start his month of June after a difficult May.
Pitcher Of The Week: SP Reynaldo Lopez (3-2, 3.69)
This past week, 21-year-old Reynaldo Lopez had a good bounce back start against Salem on June 5. After giving up five runs in back-to-back outings, Lopez gave up only two runs on three hits in seven innings of work against the high-A Red Sox. He struck out four and walked two in the victory.
In that outing, Lopez did an excellent job in terms of drawing ten groundball outs from opposing hitters out of the 26 batters he faced. In six starts this season, Lopez has 25 strikeouts and nine walks and has gone six innings or more in three of his last six starts.
Honorable Mention: SP Lucas Giolito (1-4, 4.59)
Even though Giolito had a rocky start yesterday against Salem, the reason Giolito makes the slideshow this week is because of his outing on June 1 against Myrtle Beach. After giving up six runs (three earned) in five innings against them on May 25, he was able to make adjustments and give up only two hits in five innings while striking out nine hitters.
Despite the 20-year-old’s bad record in terms of wins and losses, Giolito has made a good impression with his strikeout stuff. He has 46 strikeouts in six games, including eight in the loss on Sunday. That total is two behind Nick Pivetta for the team lead. Pivetta has 48 strikeouts in 11 outings.