Aug 26, 2014, 12:42 PM EDT
As the Syracuse Chiefs close in on a first place finish in the International League, the awards are starting to roll in for the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate.
On Tuesday, outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. was named the IL’s most valuable player and rookie of the year. Manager Billy Gardner, Jr. also took home the award for the IL’s best manager.
The Chiefs, in fact, are the first IL team since 1976 to sweep all three awards in the same season. At 78-58, they currently lead the International League North with the IL’s best overall record.
Souza was a monster for Syracuse this year, leading the IL in batting average (.354), OPS (1.036) and OBP (.435). He also ranked fifth in home runs (18), eighth in RBI (70) and sixth in steals (24).
All of those numbers were compiled in 91 games, as the 25-year-old had three stints in the majors spread throughout this season. He is currently on the Nationals’ 15-day disabled list with a contusion in his left shoulder.
Souza debuted with the Nats on April 13. In 13 MLB games he has one hit, one walk and four strikeouts.
Souza was also named a postseason IL All-Star this year, along with teammates SS Emmanuel Burriss and 3B Brandon Laird. Souza is the first IL MVP for Syracuse since Chad Mottola won the honors in 2000.
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