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Tampa Bay Rays Sign Czech Southpaw

CZECH REPUBLIC – The Tampa Bay Rays have signed Czech national junior team pitcher Stepan Havlicek to a minor league contract. The 16-year-old left-hander attends the Sport Grammar School (Brno) and becomes the fourth European prospect to sign with the American League East club.

Havlicek (pictured, sliding) was a member of the Czech national teams that captured the gold at the 2004 European Juveniles Championship and the 2007 European Cadets Championship. He will travel to the United States in March for spring training, and is expected to train in Australia this summer.


The Czech Baseball Association announced recently the top five players from the 2009 season. The awards will be presented at the annual Czech League All-Star Game on May 8 in Brno.

Czech powerhouse AVG Draci Brno claimed three of the five awards. Veteran slugger Pavel Budsky was named Best Hitter while teammates Petr Minarik and Daniel Wayne Ough earned Best Pitcher and Playoffs MVP, respectively.

Other award winners included Marek Cervenka (Talent of the Year) of Kotlarka/Tempo Titans and Technika Brno’s power hitter Martin Stritecky (Home Run King).


Best Hitter: Pavel Budsky, AVG Draci Brno
Best Pitcher: Petr Minarik, AVG Draci Brno
Talent of the Year: Marek Cervenka, Kotlarka/Tempo Titans
Home Run King: Martin Stritecky, Technika Brno
Playoffs MVP: Daniel Wayne Ough, AVG Draci Brno

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