Washington Nationals Minor Leagues: Players Of The Week (6/1-6/7)
By Ricky Keeler
Hagerstown Suns (29-27)
Hitter Of The Week: 1B Jose Marmolejos-Diaz (.275, 5 HR, 21 RBI’s)
Marmolejos-Diaz made his return to the Hagerstown Suns lineup when they took on the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami Marlins) in a four-game series, Marmolejos only had three hits in 15 at-bats, but he had the big hit on June 4 that helped lead the Suns to a win. With the score tied at one in the eighth inning, Marmolejos-Diaz hit a solo shot with two outs that led to a 2-1 victory.
Even though Marmolejos-Diaz was out of the lineup, the 22-year-old is still tied with Dale Carey for the most home runs on the team with five. Plus, he leads the team in .OPS at .796.
Honorable Mention: C Jorge Tillero (.346, 0 HR, 4 RBI’s)
Tillero has only been with the Suns for a week, but the 21-year-old got off to a good start in his Hagerstown career. Against the Grashoppers, he went 4-for-10 at the plate with a RBI. He had one multi-hit game, which occurred on June 6 against Greensboro. After catcher Matt Reistetter was ejected in the fourth inning, Tillero came thru with a RBI double in the seventh and a one-out single in the ninth during the Suns’ 3-2 win.
Last season, Tillero was with the Gulf Coast Nationals. He hit .300 in 33 games with ten RBI’s and six walks. Out of his 27 hits, only four of them went for extra-bases (four doubles). He was not the primary catcher as Jakson Reetz appeared in 43 games.
Pitcher Of The Week: SP Matt Purke (1-1, 2.00)
Purke is back in the Nationals organization after missing most of the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery. In two games with Hagerstown, Purke has only given up two runs in nine innings of work. On June 3, against the Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers), the 24-year-old left-hander gave up no runs on four hits over five innings. He struck out one and walked one in the win.
The reason Purke only went five innings was because they only played seven innings that day in Game One of their doubleheader. Last season, Purke was 1-6 with a 8.04 ERA in eight starts.
Honorable Mention: P Drew Van Orden (2-1, 1.85)
It was an interesting week for the Nationals fifth round pick in last year’s draft out of Duke. The 23-year-old right-hander made two appearances this past for Hagerstown. One of them was in relief of Purke on June 3. In that game against Hickory, he retired the last six Crawdads in order to get his third save of the season.
Then, on Saturday, against Greensboro, Van Orden threw six shutout innings, gave up three hits, struck out two, and walked two in a no-decision. Last month, Van Orden went 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in four games (two starts). Even though he had made more starts than relief appearances, he is second on the team in saves behind Robert Orlan (four).