The Washington Nationals announced their year-end minor league awards on Friday with right-hander Taylor Jordan earning the Pitcher of the Year award, outfielder Billy Burns named the Player of the Year and second baseman Tony Renda selected as the inaugural Bob Boone Award winner.
– Jordan spent the final two months of his season on the Nationals’ major league roster after making his debut on June 28 and slotting into the No. 5 spot in the team’s rotation due to injuries. But before that, he tore through the Nationals’ system, starting the year at Single-A Potomac before a May promotion to Double-A.
Jordan, 24, went 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA in 15 games/14 starts in the minor leagues and was named the organization’s representative to the MLB Futures Game, but he was unable to participate as he was on the Nationals’ major league roster by then.
In nine starts for the Nationals, Jordan went 1-3 with a 3.66 ERA and registered a ground-ball percentage (71.8%) that would rank second in MLB with enough innings to qualify. Jordan, who was selected by the Nationals in the ninth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Brevard (FL) Community College, had his season end in mid-August with a back strain and an innings limit (as a result of his 2011 Tommy John surgery).
He is expected to compete for a spot in the Nationals’ rotation in 2014.
– Burns finished the season with Double-A Harrisburg after spending the season’s first four months with Single-A Potomac, and hit .315, with a .425 on-base percentage — including 72 walks — in 121 games across both affiliates.
The speedy Burns swiped 74 bases, and led the Nationals entire system in batting average, on-base percentage and stolen bases.
Burns, 24, earned a spot on the Carolina League’s post-season All-Star team. He was Washington’s 32nd-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Mercer (GA) University.
– The Nationals introduced a new award this season in honor of assistant general manager and vice president of player development Bob Boone, which will be granted annually to the Nationals minor leaguer who best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic the Nationals hope to exemplify.
Renda, 22, hit .294, with a .380 on-base percentage and was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team.
The Nationals’ 2nd-round selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California, Renda ranked among Single-A South Atlantic League leaders in games played (first, 135), runs (first, 99), doubles (first, 43), hits (second, 153), strikeout ratio (third, K/9.3 plate appearances), walks (fourth, 68) and batting (6th). Renda also ranked fourth among Nationals farmhand with 30 stolen bases.