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08/28/2008 1:30 PM ET
Cruz crowned Pacific Coast MVP
Outifelder ranks among the league leaders in homers, batting and RBIs
Nelson Cruz is currently third with a .342 average, second with 37 homers and fifth with 99 RBIs. (Brent Asay/MLB.com)

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Pacific Coast League today announced Nelson Cruz of the Oklahoma RedHawks as the 2008 PCL Most Valuable Player, an honor annually chosen by the League's managers and media representatives.

Cruz becomes the first player in Oklahoma's franchise history to win the PCL MVP award. The Montecristy, Dominican Republic native is currently third in batting average at .342, second in home runs with 37, fifth in RBIs with 99, and is tied for second in stolen bases with 24. He also currently leads the league in slugging percentage at .695, is second in on-base percentage at .429 and is third in runs scored at 93.

Earlier this week the 28-year-old was elected as one of three outfielders on the 2008 All-PCL Team. He currently is in the Major Leagues after having his contract purchased by the Texas Rangers on Monday. He is hitting .250 with one home run and three RBIs in three games for the Rangers.

Past PCL MVP's include players Paul Konerko in 1997, Bobby Valentine in 1970, Tony Perez in 1964, three time winner Steve Bilko, 1955-1957, and Joe DiMaggio in 1935.

For more information on Cruz and other 2008 PCL award-winners, please visit the League's official website at www.pclbaseball.com. There you can also find information on the 2008 PCL playoffs, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, September 3.