UNITED STATES – The Cleveland Indians today announced the year-end organizational winners of their Minor League On-Base Program “On-Base-Where Careers Take Off”, sponsored by Continental Airlines. The on-base program stresses pitch recognition and patience at the plate for all position players within the organization’s Player Development System.
Players are rewarded with a cash recognition for their performances based on three different non-traditional hitting categories at each of the six Indians Minor League affiliates (AAA Buffalo, AA Akron, A Kinston, A Lake County, A Mahoning Valley, Rookie AZL Indians). The three hitting categories are: on-base percentage, percentage of hard hit at-bats and walk percentage based on total plate appearances. These categories represent the ability to make solid contact, the best approach to hitting and the best overall ability to hit.
The following are the list of organizational winners in each of the three categories. For their efforts, the winners will receive a round trip voucher for anywhere in the continental United States from Continental Airlines.
HARD HIT PERCENTAGE:
Carlos Santana – 51 %
Nick Weglarz – 17.6%
Carlos Santana – .413
Carlos Santana led the entire Indians Minor League system in both hard hit percentage and on-base percentage during the 2009 season. Santana hit the ball hard in 51 percent of his at-bats, and his on-base percentage of .413 led the Indians Player Development System and was 2nd best in the Eastern League.
On the year he hit .290 (124-428) with 88 runs scored, 30 doubles, 2 triples, 21HR and 94RBI in 130 games at AA Akron and was named the Eastern League Most Valuable Player. It marked the 2nd consecutive season he has been named a league MVP as last year he was named the Carolina Legaue MVP.
Santana also led the league in slugging percentage (.530) OPS (.943) and walks (90) while ranking 2nd in home runs (23), RBI (97) and on-base percentage (.313) and 3rd in runs scored (91). His 90 walks set a new Aeros club record. Santana was selected to the Eastern League All-Star game and played for the World Team at the Futures Game in St. Louis. Santana was acquired along with RHP John Meloan from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 26, 2008 in exchange for INF Casey Blake and cash. In five professional seasons he owns a .287 (456-1591) with 306 runs scored, 108 doubles, 12 triples, 60 HR and 309 RBIs in 469 games.
Nick Weglarz led the entire Indians Minor League system in walk percentage as he walked in 17.6 percent of his plate appearances (75BB/427 PA) as his 75 walks ranked 2nd most in the Eastern League.
In 2009, Weglarz hit .227 (77-339) with 69 runs scored, 17 doubles, 3 triples, 16HR and 65RBI in 105 games at AA Akron as his season was cut short in mid-August due to shin splints. He drew four (4) walks in two different games which set an Aeros club record for walks in a game.
Weglarz was the Indians 3rd round selection in the 2005 draft. In five professional seasons he owns a .256 (335-1309) average with 235 runs scored, 76 doubles, 8 triples, 52HR and 202 RBI in 380 games.
Source: Cleveland Indians