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Notes: Nats announce Minors awards

Notes: Nats announce Minors awards

NEW YORK -- The Nationals named outfielder Justin Maxwell and left-hander John Lannan as their Minor League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.

Maxwell, 23, combined to hit .281 with 27 home runs, 83 RBIs and 35 stolen bases this season for Class A Potomac and Hagerstown. He was the only player in the Minor Leagues in 2007 to record at least 25 doubles, 25 home runs and 25 steals. Maxwell led Nationals position players in homers, while ranking second in both RBIs and steals.

"This is icing on top of the cake," Maxwell said about the honor.

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Maxwell, who was Washington's second selection (fourth round) in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft behind Ryan Zimmerman, had his contract selected by the Nationals from Potomac on Sept. 4. He is hitting .250 (5-for-20) with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games with Washington.

Lannan went a combined 12-3 with a 2.31 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) this season with Triple-A Columbus, Double-A Harrisburg and Potomac.

Lannan found out about the honor on his 23rd birthday.

"I had a great year and I'm glad I got an award for something," Lannan said.

Lannan, who was Washington's 11th-round selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, had his contract selected by the Nationals from Columbus on July 26 and went 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in six starts.

The Nationals shut Lannan down in late August to protect his arm. Lannan acknowledged that he was upset by the move, but he now agrees with the decision.

"The shutdown was tough," Lannan said. "I wanted to help the team out, but [general manager] Jim Bowden and everybody thought it would be better to shut me down. Now I agree with their decision. I'm glad I had the time off to rest."

Injury report: On Wednesday, right-hander Shawn Hill underwent surgery that decompressed the radial nerve in his right forearm and cleaned up scar tissue in his right elbow. The procedure was performed by Dr. Ben Shaffer and Dr. Richard Barth at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington.

In a couple of weeks, Hill is scheduled to have surgery on his left shoulder. He hurt the shoulder running the bases against the Marlins last April and it grew worse a couple of weeks later when he tried to make a play at first base against the Padres.

Hill eventually went on the disabled list in mid-May because the shoulder pain altered his mechanics, leading to an elbow injury. Hill missed three months of the season.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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