Friday, September 11, 2009

Minor League MVPs

The Astros announced their season-ending MVPs for the minor league teams.

Round Rock: Tommy Manzella
Infielder Tommy Manzella was named MVP at Triple-A Round Rock Express. He hit .289 in 133 games with nine home runs, 31 doubles and 56 RBI sand finished the Pacific Coast League season ranked second in at-bats (530) and third in hits (153).

Known for his defensive ability, Manzella earned Round Rock's Defensive Player of the Month honors twice this season and was named by Baseball America as the organization's best defensive infielder prior to the 2009 season.

Corpus Christi: (surprise) Drew Locke
He was a midseason All-Star and finished first in the Texas League in batting average, hits and RBIs, second in slugging percentage (.531), third in runs scored (81), and fourth in on-base percentage.

Acquired by Houston in the Minor League phase of the 2008 Rule V Draft, Locke finished second among all Astros' minor leaguers in batting average and RBIs.

Lancaster: Koby Clemens
Clemens put together a remarkable season, hitting .345 with 22 homers, 45 doubles and a Minor League leading 121s RBI. The right-handed hitting catcher slugged .636 and posted a .419 on-base percentage for an OPS of 1.055. Clemens was a California League Postseason All-Star and led the league in RBIs and slugging percentage, while ranking tied for first in batting average and doubles. He also had the highest average and RBI totals among all Astros minor leaguers.

Lexington: Brian Pellegrini
Outfielder/first baseman Brian Pellegrini finished with a .291 average with 27 home runs and 74 RBIs en route to claiming team MVP honors. He finished first in the South Atlantic League in home runs, while ranking second in both slugging (.578) and on-base percentage (.396). Among Astros' prospects, Pellegrini finished the season ranking second in home runs (34) and fourth in RBIs (89) in combined totals between Lexington and Lancaster.

Tri-City: Barry Butera
The short-season Tri-City ValleyCats named infielder Barry Butera team MVP after he hit .267 with 16 stolen bases in 61 games. Butera, a 21st-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, finished his first professional season by winning Tri-City's Offensive Player of the Month in August. In the month, he posted a .358 average with eight RBIs.

Greeneville: Jose Altuve
Infielder Jose Altuve hit .324 with 20 doubles, 21 steals and a .408 on-base percentage to earn team MVP honors. The 2009 Appalachian League All-Star finished the season ranking third in the league in steals and fourth in batting average and on-base percentage. His performance earned him a late-season promotion to Tri-City, where he played in 21 games for the ValleyCats.

GCL Astros: Enrique Hernandez
For the Astros Gulf Coast League affiliate, infielder Enrique Hernandez earned team MVP honors by hitting .295 with 27 RBIs and 35 runs scored in 53 games. A sixth-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Hernandez finished the season ranking third in the league in hits and fourth in runs scored.

DSL Astros: Hector Rodriguez
Infielder Hector Rodriguez was tabbed MVP of the Astros Dominican Summer League team after posting a .269 average in 55 games. The 20-year-old native Dominican was signed as a non-drafted free agent by Astros scouts Julio Linares and Arturo DeFreitas prior to the 2008 season.