09/23/2008 10:22 AM ET
Nationals name Leonard Davis Minor League Player of the Year, Jordan Zimmermann Minor League Pitcher of the Year
The Washington Nationals today named outfielder Leonard Davis as their Minor League Player of the Year and right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann as their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden, Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Development Bob Boone and Director of Player Development Bobby Williams made the joint announcement.
Davis, 24, hit .310 with 28 doubles, 25 home runs, 76 RBI, a .365 on-base percentage and a .567 slugging percentage in a combined 122 games at the top three levels of the Nationals' Player Development system. He paced Washington farmhands in home runs and OPS (.932), while ranking fourth in RBI.
The left-handed hitting slugger began the season with Potomac of the Single-A Carolina League, where he batted .335 (73-for-218) with 14 doubles, 14 homers and 37 RBI in 63 games. Davis was named the Topps Carolina League Player of the Month for June, hitting .407 (37-for-91) with 28 runs, six home runs and 16 RBI in 27 contests. He hit a stout .488 (20-for-41) with eight runs, one double, four home runs, 10 RBI, a .588 on-base percentage and an .805 slugging percentage during a brief 10-game stint with Harrisburg of the Double-A Eastern League. He then continued his ascent through the Washington chain with a promotion to Triple-A Columbus, where he collected 23 extra-base hits (13 doubles, three triples, seven home runs) and 29 RBI in 49 International League games. Davis was selected in the eighth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.
Zimmermann, Washington's second-round selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, went a combined 10-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) with Harrisburg and Potomac this season. He led the Washington chain in ERA and strikeouts (134), and finished tied for first in wins.
The 22-year-old earned mid-season Eastern League All-Star honors, his second All-Star selection in as many years as a professional. He went 7-2 with a 3.21 ERA (38 ER/106.0 IP) in 20 starts with Harrisburg. Prior to his May 4 promotion to Harrisburg, Zimmermann dominated the Carolina League, going 3-1 with one save and a 1.65 ERA (5 ER/27.1 IP) in five appearances (four starts) with Potomac.
Zimmermann has allowed three earned runs or less in 30 of 35 (85%) starts as a pro. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point product has allowed two earned runs or less 26 times (74%) as a pro, including one earned run or less 22 times (63%). In two pro seasons, Zimmermann has struck out 205 in 187.0 innings pitched, an average of 9.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.
In addition to the aforementioned organizational honors, the Nationals also selected Players and Pitchers of the Year for each of their respective affiliates (listed below).
OF Roger Bernadina (signed as an non-drafted free agent, Nov. 3, 2001) - Hit .351 (67-for-191) with 13 doubles, four triples, four home runs, 16 RBI and 15 steals in 47 games. Became the first Nationals/Expos Minor Leaguer to hit above .320 at both Double-A and Triple-A since Rondell White accomplished the feat in 1993.
LHP Mike O'Connor (selected in 7th round of 2002 First-Year Player Draft) - Went 5-3 with a 2.17 ERA (24 ER/99.2 IP) and a 1.00 WHIP in 16 games.
C Luke Montz (selected in 17th round of 2003 First-Year Player Draft) - Batted .282 (62-for-220) with 14 doubles, 14 homers, 53 RBI and a .554 slugging percentage in 63 games.
RHP Jordan Zimmermann (selected in 2nd round of 2007 First-Year Player Draft) - Went 7-2 with a 3.21 ERA (38 ER/106.0 IP) in 20 starts.
OF Leonard Davis (selected in 8th round of 2004 First-Year Player Draft) - Hit .332 (72-for-217) with 14 doubles, 14 homers and 37 RBI in 63 games.
RHP Adrian Alaniz (selected in 8th round of 2007 First-Year Player Draft) - Went 9-0 with a 2.62 ERA (19 ER/65.1 IP) in 12 starts.
OF Michael Burgess (selected in sandwich round [47th overall] of 2007 First-Year Player Draft) - Tallied 28 doubles, 18 home runs and 69 RBI in 112 games. Paced pro baseball with 28 outfield assists, including 26 with the Suns.
RHP Colton Willems (selected in the first round [22nd overall] of 2006 First-Year Player Draft) - Posted a 3.70 ERA (45 ER/109.1 IP) in 20 starts.
C Derek Norris (selected in 4th round of 2007 First-Year Player Draft) - Led the NY-Penn League with a Vermont franchise - record 63 walks and a .444 OBP. Batted .278 (63-for-227) with 12 doubles, 10 homers and 38 RBI in 70 games.
RHP P.J. Dean (selected in 7th round of 2007 First-Year Player Draft) - The NY-Penn League All-Star went 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA (8 ER/46.0 IP) and a .169 (26-for-154) batting average against in 10 starts.
SS Esmailyn Gonzalez (signed as an international free agent, July 2, 2006) - Was named the GCL MVP and earned season-ending All-Star honors after hitting .343 (62-for-181) to win the batting title and helping lead the GCL Nationals to the East Division title. The 18-year-old also paced the GCL with a .431 OBP, while ranking among the league leaders in hits (2nd, 62), runs (2nd, 42), RBI (T3rd, 33), total bases (T5th, 86) and doubles (T10th, 12).
LHP Jack McGeary (selected in 6th round of 2007 First-Year Player Draft) - Led the GCL with 64 strikeouts. Posted a 4.9/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (64 K/13 BB) in 12 starts.