The Washington Nationals today named first baseman Jose Marmolejos their Minor League Player of the Year and right-handed pitcher Austin Voth their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The club also named right-handed pitcher Austen Williams the recipient of the third-annual Bob Boone Award. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Vice President of Player Personnel Bob Boone, Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Player Development and Pro Scouting Doug Harris and Director of Player Development Mark Scialabba made the announcements.
Marmolejos, 22, led the South Atlantic League in hits (145), doubles (39) and RBI (87), ranked second in the league in slugging percentage (.485) and batting average (.310), and ranked third in OPS (.848) while playing in a team-high 124 games for Washington's Single-A affiliate. He paced the Nationals' Minor League system in hits (145), doubles (39), RBI (87), slugging percentage (.485) and batting average (.310).
A former non-drafted free agent, Marmolejos had a particularly strong second half of the season, hitting .335 with 24 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 55 RBI, 27 walks and 37 runs scored in the final 70 games of the season. All told, the first baseman hit .310 with 39 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs, 87 RBI, 35 walks and 63 runs scored in 2015. For his efforts, he was named a South Atlantic League post-season All-Star.
Marmolejos is in his fifth season in the organization. He was signed by Modesto Ulloa on June 9, 2011 after going undrafted in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. On September 9th, he was selected eighth overall by Tigres del Licey in the 2015 Dominican Winter League Rookie Draft.
Voth, 23, led all Nationals farmhands with 148 strikeouts and he ranked third in the organization with a 2.92 ERA. His 148 strikeouts ranked second in all of Double-A and were tied for ninth in all of Minor League Baseball. Voth went 6-7 with a 2.92 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) for the Harrisburg Senators, Washington's Double-A Eastern League affiliate.
A fifth-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Washington, Voth led the Eastern League in strikeouts (148), strikeouts/9.0 innings (8.47) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.70). He also ranked among league leaders in hits/9.0 innings (2nd, 7.67), WHIP (5th, 1.11), home runs/9.0 innings (5th, 0.57), ERA (8th, 2.92) and walks/9.0 innings (9th, 2.29). He earned Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors September 7th and was named an Eastern League mid-season All-Star.
Williams, 22, becomes the third recipient of the Bob Boone Award, which is granted annually to the Nationals minor leaguer who best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the 'Washington Nationals Way.'
Williams went 12-8 with a 2.58 ERA in 25 starts across three levels of Washington's Minor League system He began the season with Single-A Hagerstown before being promoted to Triple-A Syracuse for a spot start on June 4. He was then transferred to Single-A Potomac on June 11, where he finished the season. Williams struck out 106 batters, walked 33, surrendered just five home runs and posted a 1.10 WHIP while opposing batters hit .231 against him. He ranked among Nationals Minor Leaguers in ERA (2nd, 2.58), wins (2nd, 12) and strikeouts (T4th, 106).
Selected in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas State University, Williams was named a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star after going 8-1 with a 2.10 ERA (17 ER/73.0 IP) in 13 starts for Single-A Hagerstown.
The Nationals will honor these players at a ceremony at Space Coast Stadium during 2016 Spring Training.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS ORGANIZATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
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)