#Nationals name OF Billy Burns Player of the Year, RHP Taylor Jordan Pitcher of the Year & 2B Tony Renda as inaugural Boone Award recipient.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) September 13, 2013
Last season, the Nationals named a then-23-year-old 3B/DH Matthew Skole and 24-year-old right-hander Nathan Karns their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year. Skole, a 2011 5th Round pick out of Georgia, posted a combined .292/.427/.562 line with 28 doubles, 27 HRs and 104 RBIs in 118 games and 521 PAs between Class-A Hagerstown and High-A Potomac in his second pro season after 72 games at Class-A Short Season Auburn in 2011. Karns, 24, an '09 12th Round pick out of Texas Tech University, was (11-4) between Hagerstown and Potomac, putting up a 2.03 ERA, 2.37 FIP, 21 BB (4.26 BB/9) and 61 Ks (12.38 K/9) in 11 games and 44.1 IP for the Suns and a 2.26 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 26 BB (3.27 BB/9) and 87 Ks (10.93 K/9) in 13 starts and 71.2 IP for the P-Nats.
Skole's 2013 season ended early when he suffered a torn UCL on a play at first base and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. He's going to participate in the Arizona Fall League this year. Karns was called up to make his MLB debut in late May, making three starts with the Nationals, but he spent the majority of his 2013 campaign at Double-A Harrisburg, where he was (10-6) with a 3.26 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 48 walks (3.26 BB/9) and 155 Ks (10.52 K/9) in 132 2/3 IP.
Billy Burns, who turned 24 on August 30th, is a 2011 32nd Round pick out of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, who spent the 2013 season at High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. With the P-Nats, the speedy outfielder had a .312/.422/.391 line with eight doubles, nine triples and 54 stolen bases in 59 attempts in 91 games and 402 plate appearances. With the Double-A Senators, Burns had a .325/.434/.360 line with four doubles and 20 stolen bases in 22 attempts over 30 games and 138 PAs. Burns led all Nats' minor leaguers (w/ at least 100 games played) in average, on-base percentage and stolen bases.
Taylor Jordan, 24, an '09 9th Round pick out of Brevard County Community College in Florida, was in his first full-year back from Tommy John surgery this season. The right-hander started the year at High-A Potomac where he was (2-1) in six starts with a 1.24 ERA, a 2.46 FIP, six walks (1.49 BB/9) and 29 Ks (7.18 K/9) in 36 1/3 IP in which he allowed just one home run (0.25 HR/9). At Double-A, Jordan was (7-0) in nine games, eight starts and 54 IP over which he had a 0.83 ERA, a 2.39 FIP, nine walks (1.50 BB/9) and 43 Ks (7.17 K/9).
Jordan was selected for the 2013 All-Star Futures Game, but he had already been called up to the majors, so he didn't participate. In nine starts with the Nationals, the 6'3'' righty was (1-3) with a 3.66 ERA, a 3.49 FIP, three home runs (0.52 HR/9) and 11 walks (1.92 BB/9) allowed in 51 2/3 IP in which he struck out 29 (5.05 K/9) before he was shut down after having reached his innings limit. Jordan will be in the mix for the starting rotation next Spring.
• Here's the list of previous Nationals' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year winners:
The Nationals also announced that 22-year-old, 2012 2nd Round pick Tony Renda had been named the initial winner of the Bob Boone Award, which recognizes the Nationals' minor leaguer, "who best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the Washington Nationals way." In 135 games and 606 plate appearances at Class-A Hagerstown, Renda, a second baseman, had a .294/.380/.405 line with 43 doubles, five triples and five home runs.