Skole, Karns take home Nats' 2012 Minors honors

Skole, Karns take home Nats' 2012 Minors honors

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals named third baseman Matthew Skole their Minor League Player of the Year and right-hander Nathan Karns their Minor League Pitcher of the Year on Monday.

Skole hit .292 with 28 doubles, one triple, 27 homers, 104 RBIs, and 83 runs scored in 118 games for Class A Hagerstown. His 27 home runs led the South Atlantic League, were most among Nationals Minor Leaguers, and good for third in all of Class A. The 23-year-old had a .989 OPS during the 2012 campaign, including a South Atlantic League-leading 1.013 OPS in just 101 games for Hagerstown.

Skole hit home runs in three consecutive games from Aug. 1-3, including a walk-off grand slam on Aug. 3 vs. Lexington. He proved to be the South Atlantic League's most prolific hitter during the 2012 season, averaging one home run every 12.70 at-bats. Last week, the South Atlantic League named Skole its Most Valuable Player in addition to his selection as both a midseason and postseason All-Star.

A native of Woodstock, Ga., Skole was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Georgia Tech.

Karns went 11-4 on the year, posting an organization-best 2.17 ERA (28 earned runs in 116 innings) in 24 games (18 starts) for Hagerstown and Class A Potomac. The 6-foot-5 righty began the season with Hagerstown, going 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 11 games (five starts) before being promoted to Potomac in early June. For the Potomac Nationals, Karns went 8-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 13 starts. He struck out an organization-best 148 batters, and his 11 wins were good for second among Nationals Minor Leaguers.

In nine starts from June 15 to Aug. 2, Karns went 8-0 with an 0.94 ERA in 57 1/3 innings, with 65 strikeouts against just 14 walks.

A native of Arlington, Texas, Karns was selected in the 12th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University.

Skole and Karns will be honored for their 2012 accomplishments during an on-field ceremony prior to Friday's 7:05 p.m. ET contest against Miami.