Washington Nationals Minor Leagues: Players Of The Week (6/15-6/21)

2 of 5

(Photo Credit: MILB.com)

Syracuse Chiefs (24-46)

Hitter Of The Week: RF Kevin Keyes (.462, 0 HR, 7 RBI’s)

Before Keyes began play at Syracuse this past week, he was hitting .235 with five home runs and 26 RBI’s and had an on-base percentage of .321 in 53 games. In his first week with the Chiefs, Keyes was able to take advantage of International League Pitching. The International League player of the week went 12-for-26 at the plate with four doubles and is on a six game hitting streak.

The highlight of Keyes’ week came in the three-game series against Buffalo. On Friday and Saturday, the 26-year-old had three hits in each game and had four RBI’s for the entire three-game series. While he hasn’t hit many home runs this season, Keyes is off to an excellent start for the Chiefs.

Honorable Mention: 3B Rick Hague (.381, 1 HR, 7 RBI’s)

For this week’s edition of the top Syracuse players, it is going to be headlined by a duo of former Harrisburg players that made their triple-A debuts this week. Let’s start with Rick Hague. The 26-year-old received the callup this past week and made an immediate impact. He has a hit in all six games for the Chiefs and had back-to-back multi-hit games against the Toledo Mudhens (Detroit Tigers) last Monday and Tuesday.

In Syracuse’s 8-3 win over Toledo on Monday, Hague hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat of the International League. In 52 games with the Senators, Hague hit .259 with no home runs and nine RBI’s. That being said, it is good to see Hague get his chance to shine in the IL after being in the Eastern League since 2013.

Pitcher Of The Week: SP Taylor Jordan (2-3, 2.81 ERA)

In two starts this week, the 26-year-old right-hander did a good job of keeping the opposing team off the board. In 14 innings, Jordan gave up no runs on seven hits, struck out eight, and walked three. Jordan’s best game came on Tuesday against Toledo, when he gave up five hits over seven innings, struck out five, and walked one.

Yesterday, Jordan shut out the Bison for seven innings, but he did walk three batters. He has walked three batters in an outing in three of his last eight starts. Nevertheless, the pitcher who has spent time with the Nationals this season had a nice week after giving up eight runs in 1.2 innings against the Mudhens back on June 10. He made the adjustments and got the job done.

Honorable Mention: SP Paolo Espino (1-0, 1.56)

Espino has been a mainstay in this slideshow every week, but he makes honorable mention this week because of Jordan’s back-to-back shutout outings. This past week, the 28-year-old right-hander made one start against the Mudhens. In that outing on May 16, Espino went seven innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out five, and walked one.

Even though Espino took the no-decision in Syracuse’s 3-2 win in ten innings, that start is the fifth straight in which Espino has pitched into the seventh inning and given up two runs or fewer. In 21 innings this month, he has given up a total of four earned runs and walked only two hitters. When Joe Ross does join the Chiefs, they have a good rotation of Espino, Ross, Jordan, and A.J. Cole, despite his recent struggles.

Next: Double-A