The Washington Nationals named first baseman Jose Marmolejos their 2016 Minor League Player of the Year, right-handed pitcher Reynaldo Lopez their 2016 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and outfielder Rafael Bautista the recipient of the fourth-annual Bob Boone Award. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Vice President & Senior Advisor to the GM Bob Boone, Assistant General Manager & Vice President, Player Personnel Doug Harris and Director of Player Development Mark Scialabba made the announcements.
Marmolejos, 23, earned his second consecutive Minor League Player of the Year Award after hitting .289 with 45 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs, 74 RBI, 64 walks and 87 runs scored in 136 games between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. He recorded a .370 on-base percentage and a .475 slugging percentage. His career-best 45 doubles were tied for the second-most in all of Minor League Baseball. He also led the organization in runs scored (87) and total bases (240).
Marmolejos was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg on Aug. 1 and proceeded to hit .299 (38-for-127) with nine doubles, two homers, 15 RBI and 15 runs scored in 33 games at the advanced level, his first exposure to Double-A.
Signed by Modesto Ulloa on June 9, 2011 after going undrafted in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Marmolejos is in his sixth season with the organization.
Lopez, 22, made his Major League debut on July 19 against the Los Angeles Dodgers after advancing through three levels of the Nationals’ system -- from Double-A Harrisburg, to Triple-A Syracuse, and then the big leagues. The No. 5 prospect in Washington’s system entering 2016 according to Baseball America, Lopez struck out 126 batters (third-most among Nationals farmhands) in just 109.1 Minor League innings. He went 5-7 with a 3.21 ERA in 19 starts between Harrisburg and Syracuse.
Lopez had his contract selected on July 19 and made his Major League debut that night, striking out nine Dodgers in 4.2 innings pitched, the second-most by a starting pitcher in his MLB debut in Nationals history (2005-pres.), behind only Stephen Strasburg (14, June 8, 2010). In back-to-back starts against the Atlanta Braves (Aug. 13 and Aug. 18), Lopez tossed 7.0 innings in each start, allowing a total of two earned runs on nine hits while striking out 13. The win on August 13 marked Lopez’s first career Major League victory.
A native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, Lopez is in his fifth season in Washington’s system after signing with the organization on June 21, 2012. Lopez was also signed by Modesto Ulloa.
Bautista, 23, spent the entire season at Double-A Harrisburg, hitting .282 with 12 doubles, four triples, four homers, 39 RBI, 45 walks and 77 runs scored in 136 games for the Senators. His 153 hits led the Eastern League. Bautista truly shined on the basepaths, though, where his 56 stolen bases were tied for the most in all of Minor League Baseball.
A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Bautista bounced back in 2016 after appearing in just 66 games in 2015 due to injury. He was signed by Nationals scout Pablo Arias as a non-drafted free agent on January 3, 2012 and is in his fifth season in Washington’s system.
The Nationals will honor these players on the field at Nationals Park in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 1.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS ORGANIZATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
2016: 1B Jose Marmolejos (Player of the Year), RHP Reynaldo Lopez (Pitcher of the Year), OF Rafael Bautista (Boone)
2015: 1B Jose Marmolejos (Player of the Year), RHP Austin Voth (Pitcher of the Year), RHP Austen Williams (Boone)
2014: OF Steven Souza Jr. (Player of the Year), RHP Lucas Giolito (Pitcher of the Year), INF Wilmer Difo (Boone)
2013: OF Billy Burns (Player of the Year), RHP Taylor Jordan (Pitcher of the Year), 2B Tony Renda (Boone)
2012: INF Matthew Skole (Player of the Year), RHP Nathan Karns (Pitcher of the Year)
2011: INF Steve Lombardozzi (Player of the Year), RHP Brad Peacock (Pitcher of the Year)
2010: OF Tyler Moore (Player of the Year), LHP Tom Milone (Pitcher of the Year)
2009: C Derek Norris (Player of the Year), RHP Brad Meyers (Pitcher of the Year)
2008: OF Leonard Davis (Player of the Year), RHP Jordan Zimmermann (Pitcher of the Year)
2007: OF Justin Maxwell (Player of the Year), LHP John Lannan (Pitcher of the Year)
2006: INF Kory Casto (Player of the Year), RHP Zechry Zinicola (Pitcher of the Year)
2005: INF Kory Casto (Player of the Year), LHP Michael O’Connor (Pitcher of the Year)