Low Single-A Hagerstown infielder Wilmer Difo has been named South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player, while right-hander Lucas Giolito was named Most Outstanding Pitcher and Most Outstanding MLB Prospect.
Difo leads or is tied for the league in hits (174) and total bases (257). Difo is hitting .321 on the season and his slash line is .321/.366/.474. He ranks in the top five in the league in RBIs with 88 (third), stolen bases with 49 (second), runs scored with 90 (tied for second), extra-base hits with 50 (fourth), and lowest total plate appearances/strikeout ratio with a 9.55 average (fifth).
Giolito went 10-2 with the Suns this season and posted a 2.20 ERA in 20 starts. In 98 innings pitched, Giolito allowed only 24 earned runs on 70 hits, including seven homers. He walked 28 and struck out 110. Giolito twice this year was named the league’s Pitcher of the Week, and he appeared in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game.
Center fielder Rafael Bautista was one of four outfielders named to the SAL annual All-Star squad. Bautista leads the league in stolen bases (66), and is tied with Difo for second in runs scored (90). He is hitting .283 this year with a slash line of .283/.337/.373. His 66 stolen bases are a club single-season record since the Suns have been a member of the South Atlantic League.
* The Potomac Nationals defeated the Wilmington Blue Rocks 3-0 in the opener and 3-0 in the nightcap of a doubleheader on Wednesday night in Wilmington, Del., at Frawley Stadium.
With the first win on the night, the P-Nats secured a 2014 second-half Carolina League Northern Division championship. The P-Nats have now captured four straight division titles going back to the beginning of the 2013 campaign.