New Orleans Zephyrs: Hitter Of The Year

New Orleans sure had it's share of sluggers in 2005, including several that made their major league debuts' with the Nationals this year. However, the Zephyrs finished last in their division with a .457 winning percentage. But, who would win the New Orleans Hitter of the Year Award?

During the course of the 2005 season the Nationals' Triple-A affiliated compiled an impressive team batting average of .290. But, on the other hand, you have to ask yourself how a team with such a good offense was unable to finish with a record above the .500 mark. In fact, even with such a potent offense, New Orleans finished dead last, compiling a record of 64-76. While that is not something to be proud of, the offensive talent on the roster this year certainly was.

Juan Melo grabs the third place spot in this contest, finishing the year with an outstanding .318 batting average and a .365 on base percentage. Melo, an infielder with New Orleans, also slugged .489 with 10 homeruns as well. Not to mention, he also played in 84 games and ended the season with 17 doubles and three triples. In addition to that, the 28 year old also drove in 56 runs in 311 at bats to go along with his 99 hits.

Taking home second place in the team hitter of the year award is New Orleans' outfielder, Tyrell Godwin, who started 2005 with the Nationals, played in all but 11 games with the Zephyrs. The once highly touted Godwin batted .321 in 129 games, while slugging .443 during 2005. The 26 year old outfielder also clubbed 22 doubles, 6 triples and 9 homeruns during the course of the year. What is also impressive about Godwin is his on base percentage of .387. To top it off, Tyrell compiled 122 hits in 499 at bats, driving in 48 runs in the process.

Despite all the offensive exploits on this team, the decision was still an easy one for first place. Rick Short, the Nationals' end of the year surprise, is the winner. Short appeared in a stint with the Nationals in 2005, and hit two homeruns, both of which were in RFK Stadium.

The slugging third baseman also came close to breaking the minor league batting average record, but fell short in the end batting .383. However, the 32 year old still led the Pacific Coast League in batting average. The infielder also compiled an on base percentage of .456, which is excellent anywhere. Not to mention, he also knocked in 70 runs to go along with 11 home runs and 35 doubles. With that mind, there is no doubt that Short is the New Orleans Hitter of the Year for 2005.

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