Nationals name 3B Skole, RHP Karns as Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year

By Mike Fiammetta /

WASHINGTON — Before opening a four-game series with the Cubs on Monday, the Nationals announced third baseman Matthew Skole as their Minor League Player of the Year and right-hander Nathan Karns their Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Skole batted .292 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI in 118 games for Single-A Hagerstown and Advanced-A Potomac. Those 27 home runs led the South Atlantic  League, were most among Nationals prospects and third among all of Class-A Minor League Baseball. A native of Woodstock, Georgia, Skole was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Georgia Tech.

Karns, 24, was 11-4 on the year, posting an organizational-best 2.17 ERA (28 earned runs in 116 innings pitched) in 24 games with Hagerstown and Potomac. A 6-foot-5, 230-pound pitcher, Karns’ 11 wins were second most among Nats farmhands. A native of Arlington, Texas, Karns was selected in the 12th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University.

Both players will be honored for their accomplishments throughout the 2012 season during an on-field ceremony prior to Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game against the Marlins.

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