Woodbridge, VA---The Washington Nationals named OF Daniel Johnson their 2017 Minor League Player of the Year. Johnson, who split time between the Hagerstown Suns and the P-Nats, was one of just 10 players in all of Minor League Baseball to hit at least 20 home runs and steal 20 bases.
Beginning the 2017 campaign with the Suns, Johnson hit an even .300 with 17 home runs and 37 extra base hits in 88 games. Johnson was named both a mid-season and post-season South Atlantic League All-Star, and earned South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors on 6/25. Despite spending the latter third of the season with Potomac, Johnson still finished tied for second in the South Atlantic League in home runs.
Johnson earned his first promotion to the Carolina league on 7/23. In 42 games with Potomac, Johnson didn't miss a beat, as he hit .294 with five home runs and 28 extra base hits. The talented California outfielder homered in his first Carolina League at-bat on 7/24 against the Down East Wood Ducks (Texas Rangers) and homered twice in his first four games with Potomac.
A fifth round pick in 2016 out of New Mexico State University, Johnson was the only player at the Single-A level in 2017 to tally a line of at least 22 home runs, 29 doubles, and 22 stolen bases. Johnson finished the season third in the Nationals' system with 22 home runs, fifth in the system with 72 RBIs, and fourth among Washington farmhands with 22 stolen bases.
RHP Wander Suero earned Washington's Minor League Pitcher of the Year award. Reaching Triple-A Syracuse for the first time in his career, the right-handed reliever dazzled with both the Chiefs and the Double-A Harrisburg Senators this past season. With Syracuse, Suero went 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA in 36 relief outings. With the Senators, Suero posted a 1.96 ERA in 18 games out of the bullpen. Suero topped Washington's system with 20 saves in 2017.
Suero is a two-time member of the P-Nats. In 2014, Suero's first season in affiliated baseball, the righty made 12 relief outings and struck out 21 batters in 27.1 innings for Potomac. Back with the P-Nats in 2015, Suero lowered his ERA by more than five runs to 2.41, as he went 6-2 in 16 games, five starts, for The Red, White, & Blue.
2015/2016 Potomac C Raudy Read earned the fifth-annual Bob Boone Award, which is given to the Nationals' Minor Leaguer who best demonstrates professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination, and work ethic required to play the game the "Washington Nationals Way."
Read spent the entire 2017 Minor League season with Harrisburg, before he earned a promotion to the Major Leagues on 9/1. In 108 games with the Senators, Read set a career high with 17 home runs and 61 RBIs. Read tallied his first MLB hit on 9/4 against the Miami Marlins.
After a brief five-game stint with Potomac in 2015, Read spent all of 2016 with the P-Nats. As the everyday catcher, Read hit .262 with nine home runs and 51 RBIs. He tallied a career best 30 doubles and stole a career high six bases.
These three award winners follow a trio of former P-Nats who took home the respective awards for the 2016 season. 1B Jose Marmolejos won Player of the Year, RHP Reynaldo Lopez earned the Pitcher of the Year, while CF Rafael Bautista won the Bob Boone Award.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and nine CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats' 2018 season and beyond are available, as well as all-inclusive corporate outings to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. 2018 Potomac Nationals Season Tickets are now on sale. To purchase season tickets or for more information, please contact Alec Manriquez at 703-590-2311 ext. 221. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2018 tickets, group outings, and picnic packages, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals' Extreme Custom Collision Ticket Office at 703-590-2311.
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