Randy Ruiz (32) of Reading, Pa., hit .320 with 25 homers in winning Most Valuable Player honors in the Pacific Coast League. The Las Vegas 51s first baseman led Triple-A with 106 RBIs and 70 extra-base hits and finished second in the classification with his 41 doubles. The Toronto Blue Jays signed Ruiz as a free agent in December 2008.
Kevin Russo (25) of Boulder, Colo., finished fourth in Triple-A with a .326 average. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees second baseman had 18 doubles, two triples, five homers and 31 RBIs in 90 games. The New York Yankees selected Russo in the 20th round in 2006 out of Baylor University.
Andy Marte (26) of Villa Tapia, Dominican Republic, hit .327 with 18 roundtrippers and 66 RBIs in 82 games for the Columbus Clippers. The third baseman earned IL Topps Player of the Month honors for July when he hit .385 with nine homers and 24 RBIs. The Cleveland Indians, who acquired Marte as part of a January 2006 trade with Boston, brought him up to the big club at the end of July for the rest of the season.
Alcides Escobar (22) of Vargas, Venezuela, finished among the top base stealers in Triple-A with 42. He hit .298 with four home runs, 34 RBI, 24 doubles and six triples for the Nashville Sounds. Escobar, who was also among the top defensive PCL shortstops with his .975 fielding percentage, was named to the Topps Double-A All-Star team last year. The Milwaukee Brewers signed him as a free agent in July 2003.
John Bowker (26) of Sacramento, Calif., led Minor League Baseball with a .451 on-base percentage. His .342 batting average was second best among all full-season domestic Minor Leaguers. The Fresno Grizzlies outfielder smacked 21 home runs, 22 doubles and four triples in driving in 83 runs. The San Francisco Giants drafted Bowker in the third round in 2004 out of Long Beach (CA) State University.
Jordan Brown (25) of Tucson, Ariz., paced the International League with a .336 batting average. The Columbus Clippers outfielder ranked third in the circuit with a .532 slugging percentage and finished tied for fifth with 35 doubles. The Cleveland Indians selected Brown in the fourth round in 2005 out of the University of Arizona.
Shelley Duncan (30) of Tucson, Ariz., hit .277 with 30 homers and 99 RBIs in being named the International League Most Valuable Player. Duncan's home run and RBI totals with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees ranked second and third, respectively, in Triple-A. The New York Yankees drafted him in the second round in 2001 out of the University of Arizona.
John Hester (26) of Alpharetta, Ga., threw out 30% of the base runners trying to steal. The Reno Aces catcher hit .328 with nine homers and 66 RBIx. The Arizona Diamondbacks tabbed Hester in the 13th round in 2006 out of Stanford University.
Mitch Jones (32) of Orem, Utah, won the Joe Bauman Trophy as Minor League Baseball's top home run hitter with 35. The Albuquerque Isotopes outfielder also led the Minors with a .651 slugging percentage and his 103 RBIs ranked second in Triple-A. The Los Angeles Dodgers inked Jones as a free agent in November 2008.
Lenny DiNardo (30) of Gainesville, Fla., went 10-5 with a 3.32 ERA in 23 starts. Omaha Royals pitchers registered 13 combination shutouts in 2009 and DiNardo was involved in six of them. The left-hander struck out 127 batters, while only walking 38 in 151 2/3 innings. The Kansas City Royals signed DiNardo as a free agent in December 2008.
|1B||Randy Ruiz||Las Vegas/PCL||TOR||.320||25||106|