Friday, September 12, 2008

Minor League Players of the Year

Here are two more guys to watch for in the future. The Dodgers recently announced the winners of their annual player of the year awards for the minor leagues.

Below is the Dodgers winner of the Minor League Pitcher of the Year James McDonald.

McDonald’s 3.19 ERA with Jacksonville ranked second in the Southern League, and his 113 strikeouts ranked ninth. He struck out 141 batters in 141.0 innings overall with Jacksonville and Las Vegas . The 6-foot-5, 195-pounder struck out 10 in both of his first two Triple-A starts. He allowed three runs or less in 22 of his 26 starts overall. The Long Beach Poly High School grad was recently voted as having the best changeup in the SL in Baseball America’s annual “Best Tools” survey of league managers and coaches.

McDonald earned SL Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of May 5-11, when he went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA (2 ER/13.0 IP) in two starts. He also posted stellar numbers in June, going 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA (7 ER/35.0 IP) in six starts. In his final three starts of June, he allowed only one run in 18.0 innings. McDonald also went 2-1 with a 3.82 ERA (14 ER/33.0 IP) in six starts in May to share Jacksonville ’s Dodger Pride Award for the month with right-hander Jesus Castillo.

Winner of the Minor League Player of the Year is Ivan DeJesus, Jr.

The 21-year-old DeJesus, making his Double-A debut, led the Southern League with a .419 on-base percentage and ranked fifth with a .324 batting average. He finished second in the circuit with 76 walks and tied for third with 150 hits. DeJesus was named to the SL’s South Division All-Star team, but did not appear because he was selected to play in the XM Radio All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium. He was the lone Dodger farmhand to be selected to the annual exhibition featuring the game’s top prospects. He was recently named as the second baseman on Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star Second Team.

DeJesus, who was selected by Los Angeles in the second round of the 2005 draft, ended the year with a 23-game hitting streak, batting .420 (37-for-88) with 27 runs scored to raise his average from .301. He hit .438 (46-for-105) with five homers, 16 RBI, and 31 runs scored in 27 games in August.

DeJesus earned Jacksonville ’s Dodger Pride Award for May, when he hit .299 (29-for-97) with 18 walks, 24 runs, and a .412 on-base percentage.

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