Dan Johnson named Rays Minor League Player of the Year, Hellickson top pitcher
The Rays today announced their minor league awards, with Dan Johnson earning their Minor League Player of the Year and, as expected, RHP Jeremy Hellickson was Pitcher of the Year.
This year's winners will be honored during an awards ceremony prior to tonight's game.
For Johnson, 31, the award meant a lot, especially considering his impressive season at Triple-A Durham (30 homers, 95 RBI) is a big reason why he was able to be called up, and have so may memorable moments (homers against the Red Sox and Yankees).
"Any honor is great," he said. "I think that shows that the work paid off. I didn't go and hang my head. I feel like it was kind of a turning point for me. I could have easily folded up and packed it in. But I'm just proud of the fact I went down there, worked hard, and put up the numbers. And I'm now rewarded for it.
"It got me here."
For Hellickson, the Rays top prospect, it's one of several awards won so far, including the overall Minor League Player of the Year. But it still was special for him.
"You've got a lot of talent in this organization," he said. "And we've got a lot of guys with really good years. So it definitely means a lot."
The following players were named Most Valuable Player for their respective minor league teams: INF/OF Elliot Johnson (Durham Bulls, AAA); RHP Alex Cobb (Montgomery Biscuits, AA); LHP Matt Moore (Charlotte Stone Crabs, A); INF Tyler Bortnick (Bowling Green Hot Rods, A); 1B Phil Wunderlich (Hudson Valley Renegades, SS-A); LHP Enny Romero (Princeton Rays, Rookie); RHP Pedro Silvestre (Gulf Coast League Rays); INF/OF Ariel Soriano (Dominican Summer League Rays); and OF Nahum Hernandez (Venezuelan Summer League Rays).
OF Desmond Jennings was named Best Defensive Player, while OF Ty Morrison was named the organization’s Best Baserunner and RHP Zach Quate was named Best Relief Pitcher.
-- JOE SMITH