September 3, 2012 - Carolina League (CarL) - Potomac Nationals
(WOODBRIDGE, VA) - The Washington Nationals announced this morning that Nathan Karns and Matt Skole have been named the Minor League Pitcher and Hitter of the Year respectively. Both players started the year with Hagerstown and finished the season with Potomac.
Nathan Karns earns Washington's Pitcher of the Year award in his first healthy year in the system. A 2009 12th Round pick, Karns led the Washington system in ERA at 2.17 which also ranked fifth in all of Minor League Baseball. The Texas Tech product led Washington farmhands in strikeouts with 148 despite just throwing 116 innings and also ranked tied for second in wins with 11. The 24-year old also led MiLB in batting average against holding opponents to a .174 clip.
With Potomac, Karns had a streak in which he gave up one or less run in eight of nine starts spanning from June 15th to August 2nd. During the stretch, Karns had a streak of 24 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. During a July 21st start Karns tossed six hitless innings and also had back-to-back 11 strikeout outings in late June.
"It's very rewarding from having the way my career began the way and how far I've come," says Karns. "I just would like to thank all of the people who got me here especially my teammates and coaches and all the hard work they put in to get me here. It's just very rewarding and definitely an honor."
South Atlantic League MVP Matt Skole wins Washington Hitter of the Year in his first full season of professional baseball. The 23-year old out of Woodstock, GA led Washington farmhands in home runs with 27 and ranked second in his 104 RBI. The home run and RBI totals are both the third most for a Nationals minor leaguer.
A 5th Round Pick in the 2011 Draft out of Georgia Tech, Skole played in 118 games hitting .292 with a robust .427 on base percentage which was the sixth best mark amongst all of the Minor Leagues. His 98 walks between Potomac and Hagerstown led the Washington system while ranking tied for second in MiLB.
"First of all what an honor it was to win the award with the big team in first place having a great season," says Skole. "This organization is just unreal with all of the great players we have here, all the talent there is up and down the organization, just to be nominated for that award is a great honor and to win it is even better."
Both Skole and Karns will be honored on Friday at Nationals Park before the 7:05 PM contest with the Miami Marlins.