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PORTLAND, Maine -- The Eastern League of Professional Baseball is pleased to announce that Akron Aeros catcher Carlos Santana has been selected as the winner of the 2009 Eastern League Most Valuable Player Award.
This marks the second consecutive season that Santana has been selected the MVP of a league, as he was named the 2008 California League MVP after hitting .323 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 96 RBIs and 88 runs scored in 99 games with the Inland Empire 66ers last year. The 23-year old catcher has been outstanding for the Aeros this season, batting .289 (120-for-415) with 29 doubles, 21 home runs, 94 RBIs and 88 runs scored in 126 games while leading his team to a first-place finish in the Southern Division standings.
Carlos, who entered the season rated by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization, currently leads the league in slugging percentage (.518), OPS (.930) and walks (89). He is also currently among the league leaders in home runs (21-2nd), RBIs (94-2nd), on-base percentage (.412-2nd), runs scored (89-3rd), extra-base hits (52-4th), total bases (217-4th) and doubles (29-tied 10th).
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound slugger has also played well behind the plate for the Aeros, throwing out 30 percent of would-be base stealers this season, which ranks fifth in the league among all catchers.
Santana, who is a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was selected as the catcher on the recently announced 2009 Eastern League All-Star Team. He was also the starting catcher for the Southern Division at the 2009 Eastern League All-Star Game in Trenton, and was selected as a member of the World Team for the 2009 Futures Game in St. Louis, where he went 0-for-1 with one walk in the game.
Carlos started his career in professional baseball after being signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a nondrafted free agent on Aug. 13, 2004. He moved on to the Cleveland Indians organization last year when he was acquired in the trade last summer that sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers on July 26, 2008.
Reading Phillies outfielder Michael Taylor finished as the runner-up in the voting for the award, and Connecticut first baseman Brett Pill finished in third place. This award was voted on by Eastern League team managers and coaching staffs, sportswriters, radio and television broadcast personnel and other members of the media.
Carlos Santana's 2009 statistics