Rays Announce 2008 Minor League Awards
The Tampa Bay Rays have named outfielder Fernando Perez Minor League Player of the Year and left-handed pitcher David Price Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The Rays also announced the 2008 players and pitchers of the year for each of their eight minor league affiliates.
Durham Bulls Outfielder Fernando Perez is Tampa Bay’s Minor League Player of the Year.
All of this year’s winners will be honored during an awards ceremony prior before the Rays Friday, Sept 19th game against the Minnesota Twins.
Perez, 25, hit .288 in 129 games for Triple-A Durham and hit five home runs with 36 RBI. He led the Bulls and ranked second in the Rays organization with 43 stolen bases (3rd in International League). Perez also led the team and finished second in the IL with 86 runs and 11 triples. He was named the fastest base runner in the IL by Baseball America. Perez was called up by the Rays on August 31, just prior to Durham’s playoff run, and has played an important role for the big league club in September.
Durham Bulls Pitcher David Price is Tampa Bay’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Price, 23, completed the path from A-ball to the majors in less than four months despite starting the season on the disabled list with a left elbow strain. Price began the year 11-0 between Class-A Vero Beach and Double-A Montgomery. He debuted May 22 at Vero Beach, where he went 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA in six starts. He was promoted on June 22 to Montgomery, where he went 7-0 in nine starts with a 1.89 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 16 walks in 57.0 innings. On August 11 Price earned a promotion to Durham, where he suffered his first professional loss on August 13. He went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four regular-season starts for the Bulls. After making two postseason starts for Durham he received a September 13 big-league call-up and made his major league debut the following day at Yankee Stadium. Price was named USA Today’s Minor League Player of the Year and a Southern League Postseason All-Star.
|2008 Award Winners|
Player of the Year: INF Dan Johnson
Pitcher of the Year: RHP Mitch Talbot
Player of the Year: INF Chris Nowak
Pitcher of the Year: RHP Wade Davis
|Vero Beach Devil Rays
Player of the Year: OF Ryan Royster
Pitcher of the Year: RHP Jeremy Hellickson
Player of the Year: OF Reid Fronk
Pitcher of the Year: RHP Jesse Darcy
|Hudson Valley Renegades
Player of the Year: OF Kyeong Kang
Pitcher of the Year: RHP Nick Barnese
Player of the Year: INF Elias Otero
Pitcher of the Year: LHP Matt Moore
|Dominican Summer League
Player of the Year: OF Cesar Guillen
Pitcher of the Year: RHP Juan Wilsino
|Venezuelan Summer League
Player of the Year: C Alejandro Torres
Pitcher of the Year: RHP Deivis Mavares
DURHAM BULLS – AAA – INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Dan Johnson, 29, batted a team-high .307 (5th in the IL) with Durham, good for 3rd in the Rays organization and tops among Rays full-season minor leaguers. He hit 23 doubles, was 2nd on the team and in the Rays system with 25 home runs (6th in IL), and ranked 2nd on the club with 83 RBI (7th in IL). Johnson led the league with a .424 on-base pct., which was 4th among AAA players. He led the team with a .556 slugging pct., good for 3rd in the IL. His performance earned him a September call-up to the Rays.
Mitch Talbot, 24, finished the year with a Bulls best 13 wins (5th in IL), which tied him for 1st in the Rays organization, and posted the Bulls’ 2nd-best ERA at 3.86. His team-best 141 strikeouts were good for 2nd in the organization and 3rd in the IL. He also was called up to the big leagues after Durham’s playoff run.
Find more information about the other teams’ minor league winners here.
Thanks to DBBC’s Matt DeMargel for this capcom story & these capcom photos.