Today, the Washington Nationals‘ Twitter account announced that minor league right-handed pitcher Taylor Hill has won the 2013 Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
#Nationals RHP Taylor Hill has been named a 2013 Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. Lombo won the same award in 2011.
— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) October 1, 2013
Hill is just another reason why Nationals fans should be excited about the future of this ball club. While they underperformed in 2013, the 2014 season and beyond looks bright thanks to the potential of the young players on the MLB roster and in the minor leagues. This year, we got a taste of that potential in Tanner Roark, Anthony Rendon, Erik Davis, Ian Krol, Jeff Kobernus and Corey Davis.
A sixth round draft pick in 2011, Hill certainly earned the award this year. In 28 games with three different teams in the Nationals’ minor league system, Hill went 9-9 with a 2.95 ERA and two complete game shutouts. He struck out 109 batters while walking just 29. As a fielder, he finished with a perfect fielding percentage and didn’t have an error. He recorded 15 putouts and 31 assists with five double plays turned on 46 total chances.
This isn’t the first time that a Nationals’ minor leaguer has won the award. In 2001, Steve Lombardozzi was given the award after he held a .996 fielding percentage and committed just two errors in 597 total chances.
While the Nationals struggled this season and fell short of their team goal of reaching the playoffs and winning the World Series, the organization should still be proud of what they accomplished and excited about the future. General manager Mike Rizzo has spent a lot of time building up the minor league system and they will soon be reaping the benefits of his hard work.