A pair of Nationals players picked up honors today in the Dominican Winter League. Outfielder Eury Perez, who played last season at Single-A Hagerstown, was the league's rookie of the year, while right-hander Yunesky Maya was the league's pitcher of the year.
Maya posted a 4-2 record and 1.32 ERA in eight starts, striking out 42 batters in 41 innings. He struggled in the majors with the Nationals late last season, and he's always been able to get hitters out in Latin American leagues, but the Nationals have to be encouraged with the way the Cuban native pitched this winter.
Perez is quickly becoming a revelation in the Nationals' system, a speedy outfielder who can steal bases and cover ground. Baseball America ranked him the eighth-best prospect in the Nationals' system, and the 20-year-old projects as the team's future center fielder.
He hit .345 in the Dominican Winter League, got on base at a .367 clip and stole 21 bases in 37 games. He's still a little raw defensively, and the Nationals would like to see him walk more, but there's little question about his potential to be a disruptive force at the top of a lineup.