Daniel Johnson stood out during his first full season. And now he's being rewarded for it.The Nationals No. 10 prospect was named the club's Minor League Player of the Year while Wander Suero garnered Washington's Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors and Raudy Read earned the Bob Boone Award.
Daniel Johnson stood out during his first full season. And now he's being rewarded for it.
The Nationals No. 10 prospect was named the club's Minor League Player of the Year while Wander Suero garnered Washington's Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors and Raudy Read earned the Bob Boone Award.
After being selected in the fifth round of the 2016 Draft, Johnson began this year with Class A Hagerstown, then made a late-July jump to Class A Advanced Potomac. Across the two levels, the 22-year-old batted .298. He ranked third in the system with 22 home runs, fifth with 72 RBIs and fifth with a .298 average. Johnson added 22 stolen bases in 33 attempts -- the only Nationals prospect in the 20-20 club.
"I think just repetition helped. Getting comfortable with my swing. Not trying to do too much," Johnson told the Washington Post. "Not trying to be a different player -- just me, the player I can be. Just trying to settle down and do what I can do."
In his eighth season with the Nationals, Suero picked up his first organizational honor. The right-handed reliever notched a 1.79 ERA -- his best mark since Rookie ball in 2013 -- with 65 strikeouts and 19 walks in 65 1/3 innings across 54 appearances. Suero led the system with 20 saves in 22 opportunities.
Read earned the Boone Award after best demonstrating the "professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the 'Washington Nationals Way.'" The 23-year-old was involved in Double-A Harrisburg's community outreach program.
On the field, Read hit .265 with 17 homers and 61 RBIs in 108 games before making his Major League debut in September. The catcher went 3-for-11 with a run scored in eight games with Washington.
"I've learned a lot from the veterans here. I've noticed that the game up here is a lot faster than down here. There's more of a seriousness to it about winning. Everyone takes pride in what they do," Read told the Washington Post. "I've learned a lot from that, about how to go about your preparation and everything. But more than that, I've learned a lot from the other guys that can help for next season."
Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan.