Red Sox Name Minor League Award Winners
The Boston Red Sox announced on the September 21st that left-handed pitcher Henry Owens has been named the team’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year and second baseman Mookie Betts has been named Minor League Offensive Player of the Year. The club has tabbed catcher Blake Swihart as the Defensive Player of the Year with shortstop Deven Marrero receiving the organization’s Base Runner of the Year Award. Left-handed pitcher Dedgar Jimenez and third baseman Victor Acosta represent the Dominican Summer League Red Sox as Minor League Latin Program Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively.
Also being honored is right-handed pitcher Steven Wright, the organization’s winner of the Lou Gorman Award. Created in 2011, the award is given annually to a Red Sox minor league player who has demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the Major League team.
The 2013 Minor League Awards are selected by the Red Sox baseball operations department and minor league roving instructors. The recipients were be honored during a pre-game, on-field ceremony in the 21st at Fenway Park.
Owens combined to go 11-6 with a 2.67 ERA (40 ER/135.0 IP) and 169 strikeouts in 26 starts between High-A Salem and Double A-Portland. The 21-year-old led organizational leaders in strikeouts, the most for a Red Sox minor leaguer since Clay Buchholz’ 171 in 2007. He also tied for the most wins and ranked third among leaders in ERA. A Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for July 15-22, he was also a Mid-Season All-Star and threw 19.1 consecutive hitless innings from July 11-28 with the Salem Sox. Owens went 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA (6 ER/30.1 IP) for Portland following his promotion from High-A Salem on August 1. He struck out 46 and walked eight in six starts with the Sea Dogs. Named the No. 5 prospect in the Red Sox organization by Baseball America at the start of 2013, Owens was the Red Sox sandwich pick between the first and second round of the June 2011 draft.
The 20-year-old Betts hit .314 (145-for-462) with 36 doubles, four triples, 15 home runs, 65 RBI, and 81 walks in 127 games with Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem, including a .341 average (63-for-185) in 51 games for the Salem Sox. He was named South Atlantic Player of the Week for May 6-13 and was selected as a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star. He was also a two-time Carolina League Player of the Week (August 5-12 and August 19-26) and ranked third among CL playoff leaders with a .412 (7-for-21) average in five games for Salem. The Red Sox eighth pick (fifth round, 172nd overall) in the June 2011 draft, Betts paced all Red Sox minor leaguers with 38 stolen bases and ranked second in batting.
Swihart committed just 10 errors in 841 chances for a .988 fielding percentage in 101 games at catcher with High-A Salem. The 21-year-old led the Carolina League in putouts (743) and assists (88). He batted .298 (112-for-376) with 29 doubles, seven triples, two home runs, 41 walks, and 42 RBI in 103 games with Salem. Named a Mid-Season All-Star for the Carolina League, Swihart ranked among both organizational (4th) and league (T-5th) leaders in batting. Swihart was selected as the second pick by the Red Sox (first round, 26th overall) in the June 2011 draft.
The 23-year-old Marrero was tied for the third-most stolen bases in the Red Sox organization with 27, and was caught stealing just two times for an 93.1 percent success rate in 104 games between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He entered the 2013 season as the 10th ranked prospect in the organization according to Baseball America. He combined to hit. 252 (102-for-404) with 20 doubles, 26 RBI, 52 walks and 57 runs scored for the Salem Sox and Sea Dogs. Marrero was selected as the first round pick by the Red Sox (24th overall) in the June 2012 draft.
Jimenez was 4-3 with a 1.50 ERA (10 ER/60.0 IP) in 13 starts for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox, ranking among league leaders in ERA (8th). The 17-year-old held opponents to one earned run or fewer in 11 of his 13 starts. He led the team in starts (tied) and strikeouts (55).
Acosta hit .256 (60-for-234) with 11 doubles, 8 home runs 39 RBI, and 25 walk in 63 games for the DSL Red Sox. The 17-year-old was tied for third among DSL leaders in homers and was selected as a Dominican Summer League All-Star. He paced the club in average, RBI, home runs, and total bases (97).
Wright made his major league debut on April 23 with the Red Sox and is currently in his fourth stint with the club. Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the second round of the June 2006 draft, Wright turned to the knuckleball as his primary pitch in 2011 as a way to reinvent his career. He is 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA (8 ER/13.1 IP), 10 strikeouts, nine walks, and a .245 opponent batting average (12-for-49) with Boston. The 29-year-old right-hander went 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA (52 ER/135.1 IP), 65 walks, and 99 strikeouts in 24 regular season starts with Triple-A Pawtucket. He also went 1-1 in two starts for the PawSox in the playoffs, allowing no earned runs (2 unearned runs) with a team-high 11 strikeouts and 13 innings pitched in the postseason.
More PawSox/Red Sox news and notes to come in the off-season edition of 45 Miles from Fenway.
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