Nationals Minor League Spotlight: Season Wrap-upPosted on September 04, 2014 by Nate Harold
Here's a look at some of the top performers in the Nationals' minor league system during the 2014 season.
MICHAEL TAYLOR, CENTERFIELDER,
After tearing up Eastern League pitching all season, Taylor earned a late-season promotion from Harrisburg to Syracuse, and made his MLB debut with the Nationals in August. He ended the 2014 season with a combined .304 batting average, a .915 OPS, 20 doubles, 23 home runs, 64 RBIs and 37 stolen bases across two minor league levels.
A.J. COLE, PITCHER, GCL NATIONALS
Cole's domination at Harrisburg followed him during his promotion to Syracuse after the All-Star break. Between both the Double-A and Triple-A levels of the minors in 2014, Cole finished with a 13-3 record, 3.16 ERA and 3.47 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
WILMER DIFO, SHORTSTOP, SINGLE-A
Difo exploded onto the prospect scene after setting career single-season highs in almost every statistical offensive category in 2014. He ranked in the top three on the Suns in batting average (.315), OPS (.831), hits (176), runs (91), doubles (31), triples (seven), home runs (14), RBIs (90), walks (37) and stolen bases (49).
LUCAS GIOLITO, PITCHER, SINGLE-A SHORT-SEASON
The Nationals' No. 1 ranked prospect coming into the 2014 season did not disappoint during his first full minor league season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. In 20 starts at Hagerstown, Giolito went 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 98 innings.
AUSTIN VOTH, PITCHER, DOUBLE-A
During his first full minor league campaign, Voth proved he belongs with the likes of Cole and Giolito among the Nationals' elite pitching prospects. Pitching for Hagerstown, Potomac and Harrisburg at some point during the 2014 season, Voth finished with a 7-7 record, a 2.77 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 126.2 innings.