Matt Skole, Nathan Karns named Nationals minor league player, pitcher of the year

Mike Rizzo, Davey Johnson

(Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Nationals named Class A Potomac infielder Matt Skole and right-hander Nathan Karns as minor league player and pitcher of the year, respectively.

Skole, a 2011 fifth-round pick out of Georgia Tech, is hitting .292 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI and .989 OPS in 118 games at Class A Hagerstown and Potomac. After being promoted from Hagerstown, the 6-foot-4 left-handed batter hit .324 in 17 games for Potomac. He also notched 28 doubles and scored 83 runs. His 27 home runs — essentially a home run every 12.7 at-bats —  led the South Atlantic League and was most among all Nationals minor leaguers. He was also named the South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player.

Karns, a 2009 12th round pick out of Texas Tech, finished the season 11-4 with a 2.17 ERA and 148 strikeouts, both best in the Nationals system. After being promoted to Potomac in June, he went 8-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 13 starts. He walked 47 batters in 116 innings and opponents hit .174 against him. The big right-hander who overcame a shoulder injury that kept him from pitching in the minors until last season, despite being drafted two years prior.

Last season, Steve Lombardozzi was named the minor league player of the year and Brad Peacock the pitcher of the year.

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