Prior to Saturday’s Red Sox-Orioles game at Fenway Park, the organization handed out its annual Minor League Awards, with seven players being honored for their contributions in the system this year.
Brandon Workman, a 2010 second round selection, picked up Pitcher of the Year honors following a 10-8 season with a 3.50 ERA between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland.
“Mt first year I was kind of getting tired by the end of the year,” said Workman, a 6’4” right-hander from Texas. “Going into last offseason I knew I needed to be in better shape and be stronger so I could hold up to the increased innings. It’s something I’m going to have to continue to do every offseason.”
Workman pitched 138 2/3 innings this year, fourth most in the organization and had 130 strikeouts, tied for second most.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was named the Offensive Player of the Year after batting .307 in 127 games between Salem and Portland, including a .326 mark in 23 games with the Sea Dogs.
“I feel I’m pretty good right now after the good season that I had,” said the 19-year-old Bogaerts. “I just enjoyed it very much. It was also a learning experience for me, going through struggles and going through slumps. But it’s all a part of baseball. You have to know how to challenge it.”
Bogaerts was second in the organization in hits (145) and home runs (20), third in RBIs (81) and fourth in doubles (37).
Rated by many as the top prospect in the organization, Bogaerts was a Carolina League All-Star and represented the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City.
“The mental part of it is pretty hard,” said Bogaerts, who says that he may play for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic scheduled for March of 2013. “You can be physically good, but you need to be strong mentally. You got to keep focused and keep doing the best you can.”
The Defensive Player of the Year award went to outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. , another player who took the Salem-Portland route this season.
In 115 games, 114 of which were played in center field, Bradley committed only seven errors in 260 chances, giving him a .973 fielding percentage.
“My only expectations were to stay healthy and play as hard as I can,” said Bradley of his goals coming into the season. “I think it was a pretty decent season. I’ll try to reap the benefits later.”
Bradley, who also hit .315 with 55 extra-base hits, could be a factor at Fenway in the near future, and it’s something he is okay with.
“I like that plan,” said Bradley on getting to Boston sooner rather than later. “It’s always good hearing that, but I’m going to continue to work hard. I feel like I got a long ways to go and I want to get better every day.”
Garin Cecchini, who spent his entire season with Low-A Greenville, was the Base Runner of the Year award recipient after swiping an organizational high 51 steals, having only been caught six times.
“I was at 49 the last game and I stole four times and got caught twice,” said Cecchini. “I was wanting to get [fifty]. It was one of the goals I set in my head but I didn’t say anything about it. Obviously I got there, so it’s good.”
Cecchini, who missed much of his first pro season with Lowell after being hit in the wrist by a pitch, was a South Atlantic League All-Star and hit .305 for the season with 46 extra-base hits, 62 RBIs and 84 runs scored.
“That was my main goal and that is the hardest thing to do is stay healthy,” said Cecchini who played in 118 games this season after playing in just 32 a year ago. “Sometimes injuries you just can help. The season is so long and staying healthy is the biggest key.”
Daniel Nava was honored with the Lou Gorman Award, which is bestowed upon a Red Sox minor leaguer “who has demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the Major League team.”
Keivin Heras, an 18-year-old right hander, won the Minor League Latin Program Pitcher of the Year, while Dominican Summer League teammate Manuel Margot, a 17-year-old outfielder, picked up Minor League Latin Program Player of the Year honors.
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