The Boston Red Sox released their end of season Minor League Awards and Derrik Gibson and a trio of former Spinners were honored for their great 2009 seasons.
Spinners shortstop Derrik Gibson picked up the first honor, earning the Baserunner of the Year title for his great season on the basepaths. Gibson, who made a cameo with the Spinners at the conclusion of the 2008 season, was phenomenal for the Spinners in 2009 stealing 28 bases in 33 attempts, ranking second on the Spinners behind Wilfred Pichardo’s organizational leading and franchise record 32 stolen bases. One of the fastest players in the organization, Gibson utilized his speed, often taking extra bases turning groundouts into close plays or infield hits, singles into doubles and what would be a double for most into one of his four triples.
In addition to Gibson, three recent Spinners were also honored for their strong play in 2009, led by 2008 Lowell Spinners shortstop Casey Kelly, who was selected as the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Kelly, who did not pitch after being drafted in the first round of the 2008 Draft, playing solely at short, split the season pitching at Low-A Greenville and Hi-A Salem compiling a 7-5 record and 2.08 ERA in 95 innings pitched. His strong season on the mound concluded with a scoreless inning in the All-Star Futures Game, where he retired the side of Double-A hitters in order.
Defensively, a third member of the 2008 Lowell Spinners was honored, as Ryan Dent was selected as the Defender of the Year. In 112 games, split between Greenville and Salem, Dent made 15 errors, two more errors than he made in 58 games in Lowell in 2008. Dent earned a late season promotion to Salem after batting .252 with six home runs and 48 RBI in 99 games with the Drive.
A special player with the Spinners in 2006 before suffering a broken hammate bone, Ryan Kalish was finally at full strength in 2009 and it showed as he was named the Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year after a strong showing that saw the 21-year-old advance to Double-A Portland after batting .304 with five home runs and 21 RBI to start the season in Salem. After a slow-start in Portland Kalish came on strong to finish the year with a .271 average with 13 home runs and 56 RBI, adding 14 steals in 17 attempts.
Keury De La Cruz and Juan Rodriguez were selected as the Latin America Player and Pitcher of the Year respectively, two names to keep an eye on toward the 2010 as potential Spinners.
All of the above will be honored at Fenway Park in the coming weeks prior to a Red Sox home game. Congratulations to all!