Witt Ends Bulls’ Season With Multiple Awards
Witt Wins Minor League Baseball Home Run Award
Durham first baseman Kevin Witt slugged a Minor League Baseball-best 36 home runs this season to capture the annual Joe Bauman Trophy and the Round-Tripper Award. In addition to the trophy, Witt will receive a check for $7,200, representing $200 for each homer he hit during the regular season, at the Baseball Winter Meetings™ in December.
Witt, 30, had a three homer lead over Arkansas outfielder Terry Evans when he was called up from Triple-A by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on August 24. However, Evans went homerless the rest of the season.
The Devil Rays signed Witt as a free agent in January after he spent the 2005 season playing for the Yokohama Bay Stars in the Japanese Central League. Witt was originally selected by Toronto with the 28th overall pick in the 1994 June Draft. He hit five homers in April, eight in May, seven in June, eleven in July and another five before his call-up in August.
This is the latest of many awards for Witt in 2006. He was on the mid-season and post-season International League (IL) All-Star Teams, won the All-Star Game MVP award, the IL MVP, the Bulls Team MVP and the local media Good Guy Award already this season.
The other classification leaders in the domestic leagues receive $500. Frisco first baseman Nate Gold homered three times in his last five games to win the Double-A class with 34. Myrtle Beach’s Kala Kaaihue and Visalia outfielder Sergio Pedroza each finished with 28 homers in Class A. However, Pedroza won the tiebreaker by having more runs batted in (93) than Kaaihue (80).
The short-season prize is still up for grabs, as there are still a few days left in the regular season. Russell Canzler of Boise currently leads with 16 homers, one ahead of Adam Witter of Salem-Keizer and two more than Christopher Carter of Great Falls and Spokane’s Chris Davis.
Kevin Witt Named International League MVP
The International League today announced Bulls first baseman Kevin Witt was voted the Most Valuable Player in the league this season. He becomes the third Bull to win the award since Durham joined the IL in 1998, joining catcher Toby Hall (2001) and first baseman Steve Cox (1999).
The 30-year-old first baseman made quite an impact on Triple-A Baseball after playing in just 25 games last season, all in the Japanese Central League. Witt, who was the International League’s Player of the Game at the Triple-A All-Star Game in July, dominated IL pitching this season with numbers unmatched by any of his peers:
Witt has played in 130 Major League games in his career with Toronto, San Diego, Detroit, and now Tampa Bay after being recalled Friday. Witt previously made the International League post-season All-Star team in 2002 while with Louisville, when he led the IL with 107 RBI.
Witt and Bulls outfielder Darnell McDonald were also elected to the league’s post-season all-star team. McDonald emerged this season from the shadows of several high-profile teammates to establish himself as one of the International League’s top outfielders. The 27-year-old leads the IL with 150 base hits, and is tied for third with 79 runs scored. McDonald signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent last June, just five days after being released by the Cleveland organization. McDonald has played in 131 games in 2006, the second highest total in the IL.
Thanks to DBBC’s Matt DeMargel for these capcom stories & this capcom photo.