Here is this week's Nationals minor league report, straight from Nationals PR director and pun aficionado Bill Gluvna:
This Week's Top Headline
RAY OF SUN: Single-A Hagerstown LHP Robbie Ray struck out 13 and walked one over 11.0 scoreless innings in 2 starts to earn MiLB.com South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week honors for the period of May 9-15...opposing batters are just 3-for-37 (.081 BAA) against the southpaw...in his professional debut on May 9 vs. Delmarva, he allowed just one hit in 5.0 scoreless innings...the 19-year-old followed up his impressive debut by striking out 7 in 6.0 shutout innings of 2-hit ball at Lakewood (Phillies) on May 14...Ray, who was selected by the Nationals in the 12th round of the 2010 Draft, entered the 2011 season rated by ESPN's Scouts Inc. as the No. 8 prospect in the Washington system.
Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs
International League North Division
14-22, 6th Place, 7.5 Games Behind
START ME UP!: RHP Brad Meyers is a combined 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 8 starts with Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg...with 51 strikeouts and only one walk in 48.1 innings, Meyers has posted an incredible 51.0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 9.5 strikeouts per 9.0 innings...Meyers, who missed most of the 2010 season due to injury, was the 2009 Nationals Minor League Pitcher of the Year...the 25-year-old was selected by Washington in the 5th round of the 2007 Draft out of Loyola Marymount University (CA)...he is scheduled to make his next start, Friday vs. Norfolk (Orioles).
BE LIKE MIKE: 1B/DH Michael Aubrey was selected by MiLB.com as the International League Player of the Week for the period of May 9-15...Aubrey went 8-for-18 (.444) with a double, 4 homers and 9 RBI in 6 games to garner the award...Aubrey's week was highlighted by a 4-for-4, 4 homer, 7 RBI performance in an 11-0 win vs. Durham on May 14...the left-handed hitting slugger signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent, December 20, 2010.
NO LYIN' ABOUT RYAN: RHP Ryan Mattheus, who earned a promotion to Triple-A yesterday, is a combined 2-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 appearances with Syracuse and Harrisburg...he's a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities...Mattheus has fanned 19 in 15.0 innings (11.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings), and offered scoreless relief in 12 of his 14 appearances...he owns a stingy .169 (9-for-53) batting average against...Mattheus missed most of 2010 while recovering from July 2009 "Tommy John" ligament-replacement surgery...he was acquired from Colorado along with RHP Robinson Fabian in exchange for LHP Joe Beimel, July 31, 2009.
Double-A Harrisburg Senators
Eastern League Western Division
17-19, T-4th Place, 1.5 Games Behind
KILLER B: RHP Brad Peacock was named MiLB.com Eastern League Pitcher of the Week after striking out 14 in 7.0 innings of one-run ball, Friday at Richmond...in 7 games (6 starts) overall, Peacock is 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA...he's struck out 56 and walked only 7 (8.0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio) in 42.1 innings...the 23-year-old ranks among EL leaders in wins (t-1st), strikeouts (t-1st), WHIP (2nd, 0.87) and ERA (4th)...Peacock, a 41st-round pick by the Nationals in the 2006 Draft, is scheduled to start Thursday vs. New Britain (Twins).
Single-A Potomac Nationals
Carolina League Northern Division
14-23, 4th Place, 8.0 Games Behind
STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES: In his last 3 starts, LHP Daniel Rosenbaum has allowed just 4 earned runs in 21.0 innings (1.71 ERA)...despite an impressive 2.28 ERA in 7 starts overall, he has just one win in 2011...in 2010 Rosenbaum suffered a similar fate, receiving only 5 wins in 25 starts despite posting a 2.25 ERA overall...Rosenbaum, a Single-A South Atlantic League All-Star in 2010, was selected in the 22nd round of the 2009 Draft out of Xavier University (OH).
PEREZ DISPENSER: OF Eury Perez ranks 2nd in the Carolina League with 13 stolen bases...he's 13 for 14 (92%) in stolen base attempts...Perez, 20, is hitting .329 with 3 doubles, 6 RBI and 7 runs scored in 21 contests...last season, Perez finished 2nd in professional baseball with 64 stolen bases.
SMOKE SIGNALS: LHP Josh Smoker is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA and a .170 BAA (8-for-47) in 12 games (13.0 innings)...Smoker, selected by Washington in the first round (31st overall) of the 2007 Draft, continues to work his way back from November 2008 left shoulder surgery that forced him to miss the majority of the 2009 campaign...last season, Smoker made 30 appearances (19 starts) with Single-A Hagerstown, striking out 92 in 91.1 innings.
Single-A Hagerstown Suns
South Atlantic League Northern Division
27-12, 1st Place, 4.0 Games Ahead
ONE HOT SUN: OF Bryce Harper, 18, leads Nationals minor leaguers in almost every offensive category, including batting average (.366), doubles (12), home runs (9), RBI (32), runs scored (26), OBP (.448), slugging (.657) and OPS (1.105)...he posted an 18-game hitting streak from April 26-May 14, batting .471 (33-for-70) with 12 runs scored, 8 doubles, 6 homers and 17 RBI during the tear...Harper, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 Draft, entered the 2011 campaign as the Nationals No. 1 prospect, according to Baseball America.
BLAKE IS LIVELY: INF Blake Kelso hit safely in 16 straight games (April 30-May 16), going 27-for-70 (.471) during the streak...in 38 games overall, he is hitting .358 with 10 doubles, one triple, one homer, 22 RBI and 6 stolen bases...the 22-year-old ranks among SAL leaders in hits (t-2nd, 53) and batting average (5th)...the versatile Kelso has played games at 2B, 3B and SS...he was selected in 10th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Houston.
MAN(NO) UP: RHP Chris Manno hasn't allowed an earned run in 14 games this season...with 27 strikeouts and 4 walks in 18.1 innings, he's posted a 6.75/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 13.25 strikeouts per 9.0 innings...the Duke University product has 6 saves in 7 chances, and owns a .113 BAA (7-for-61).