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Suns Fan Club honors best of 2010

August 29, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

Even when he's inactive, Justin Bloxom is valuable.

The first baseman has been out of the Hagerstown Suns lineup for nearly a month and yet it didn't diminish his worth.

Bloxom still had enough impressive numbers even in his absence to be voted the team's most valuable player by the Hagerstown Suns Fan Club.

Members of the fan club, which assists team members while they live in town and helps promote minor league baseball in the community, gave out eight awards during a ceremony before Thursday's game at Municipal Stadium.

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Bloxom is the top hitting Suns player who spent the entire season in Hagerstown. The Washington Nationals' 11th-round pick in the 2009 draft has hit .309 with 11 home runs and 70 RBIs in 104 games and is tied for third in the South Atlantic League's hitting race.

Bloxom has been sidelined for all of August with a leg injury.

Two players who certainly challenged for the MVP honors were outfielders J.P. Ramirez and Destin Hood, who shared the team's hitter of the year award.

The two 20-year-old outfielders came to Hagerstown as raw talents but gave the Nationals everything they were looking for when they drafted the pair.

Ramirez has become Hagerstown's top power threat with a team-leading 15 home runs and 69 RBIs while hitting .294 in 123 games. Hood is hitting .291 with five homers and 64 RBIs while being pressed into the cleanup spot in the batting order after Bloxom's injury moved Ramirez into the third slot.

Eury Perez was voted the Suns' unsung hero for his ability to make things happen. The undrafted center fielder has hit .293 in 122 games with three homers and 41 RBIs, but has done most of his damage with 57 stolen bases in 67 tries this season.

Perez was the Nationals' "World Team" representative to the Futures Game, played in July before the Major League All-Star Game.

Catcher Sandy Leon was voted the Suns' defensive player of the year for his work behind the plate. Leon has gunned down 52 percent (59 of 113) of all base-stealing attempts.

Mitchell Clegg, who led the Suns in victories, was named pitcher of the year. The left-hander is 9-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 19 games, including 12 starts and two saves.

Dean Weaver and Luis Garcia shared reliever of the year honors. Weaver leads the Suns with 16 saves and is 1-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 34 appearances. Garcia is 3-3 with a 3.02 ERA in 23 appearances. He has 38 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings.

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