Washington Nationals Minor Leagues: Players Of The Week (6/29-7/5)

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(Photo Credit: MILB.com)

Harrisburg Senators (40-43)

 Hitter Of The Week: 3B Matt Skole (.248, 11 HR, 50 RBI’s)

While Skole was not named an Eastern League All-Star this week, he was given a different honor. Today, he was named player of the week in the Eastern League and for good reason. At the plate, he was 12-for-26 with a home run and eight RBI’s. His best game of the week came on July 1 against the Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants).

The third baseman went 4-for-6 with a solo home run and two RBI’s. Plus, he hit a walk-off double to win the game in the bottom of the 13th inning. During the month of June, the 25-year-old hit .290 with three home runs and 23 RBI’s. Skole has always had the power, but he put it together by racking up the hits and home runs.

Honorable Mention: SS Wilmer Difo (.296, 3 HR, 30 RBI’s)

Lately, all the talk about shortstops in the Nationals’ organization has been about Trea Turner, but you can’t forget about Wilmer Difo. This past week, the 23-year-old went 8-for-28 at the plate with six RBI’s and a pair of stolen bases.

On July 4, against the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates), Difo went 3-for-5 with a run scored and four RBI’s in Harrisburg’s 11-9 win. In the first five games of July, he is hitting .318 with no home runs and six RBI’s. He is not stealing as many bases, but when he does, he has nine of them on ten tries.

Pitcher Of The Week: SP Austin Voth (3-5, 3.44 ERA)

The Eastern League All-Star made one start this past week against the Flying Squirrels. He threw six shutout innings, gave up five hits, struck out five, and walked three. While the walks are high, this is the second straight start in which Voth shutout the Flying Squirrels lineup (June 16).

One thing that Voth has done for the Harrisburg rotation is that he has gone deep into games. He has pitched into the sixth inning or later in six of his last seven starts. In five starts during the month of June, he went 1-2 with a 3.68 ERA and struck out 29 batters in 29.1 innings.

Honorable Mention: SP Richard Bleier (6-3, 2.96)

Bleier made two starts with the Senators this week and went 1-1 in those outings. On June 30, against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, he went seven shutout innings, gave up six hits, struck out two, and walked one to record his sixth win of the season.

While he struggled a little bit against the Altoona Curve Sunday when he gave up three runs on ten hits over six innings in a loss, it was still another quality outing for the 28-year-old left-hander. Bleier has now given up three runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts. In six starts during the month of June, he went 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA and walked only four batters in 42.1 innings.

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