UNITED STATES – The Pittsburgh Pirates have named third baseman Pedro Alvarez their minor league Player of the Year, and Rudy Owens their minor league Pitcher of the Year for the 2009 season.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Alvarez hit a combined .288 (134-for-465) with 32 doubles, 27 home runs, 95 RBI and 80 runs scored in 126 games between Single-A Lynchburg and Double-A Altoona. Alvarez, who was Pittsburgh’s 2008 First-Round Draft selection, finished first among all Pirates minor leaguers this year with 27 home runs and 95 RBI.
The 22-year-old Alvarez was named to the All-Star Futures Game this year in his first professional season. He also played for Team USA in the World Cup, where he established a new IBAF World Cuprecord by hitting three home runs in one game on September 17 against Chinese Taipei (Taiwan).
Alvarez started the year at Single-Lynchburg, where he hit 14 doubles, 14 home runs and 55 RBI in 66 games. After being promoted to Double-A Altoona, he hit .333 with 18 doubles, 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 60 games.
“Pedro performed up to the lofty expectations placed upon him, showing a quality combination of
power and patience plus improving defense,” said Stark. “He performed across two levels, raising his level of play as he faced tougher competition at Double-A.”
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Owens posted a combined record of 11-2 with a 2.10 ERA (124ip/29er) and 113 strikeouts in 25 starts with West Virginia and Lynchburg. He began the year with Low-A West Virginia, where he went 10-1 with a 1.70 ERA (100.2ip/19er) and 91 strikeouts in 19 starts while being named to the South Atlantic League midseason All-Star team.
After being promoted to Lynchburg, Pittsburgh’s 28th round selection in the 2006 Draft went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA (23.1ip/10er) and 22 strikeouts in six starts for the Carolina League Champion Hillcats. For the season, the 21-year-old Owens finished first among Pirates farmhands in ERA and strikeouts andtied for third in wins.
“Rudy Owens made significant strides this year, showing consistent fastball command and improving secondary pitches,” said Stark. “He obviously performed across two levels, capped off by a couple quality starts in the postseason for Lynchburg.”
For more information, contact the Pirates Media Relations office at (412) 325-4728 or (412) 325-4976.
Photo courtesy of consuelocity.com