The Pawtucket Red Sox, in conjunction with the International League, are pleased to announce today that former PawSox and current Boston Red Sox 1B/DH Mauro Gomez has been chosen as the 2012 International League Most Valuable Player. Gomez was also elected to the 2012 post-season International League All-Star Team as the DH along with former PawSox and current Red Sox teammates C Ryan Lavarnway and SS Jose Iglesias.
The post-season All-Star Team and Award Winners are selected by the league's managers, coaches, media, and club representatives. Gomez, Lavarnway, and Iglesias are the first PawSox All-Stars since 2008 when four Pawtucket players were placed on the squad - 1B and MVP Jeff Bailey, 2B Joe Thurston, OF Chris Carter, and RHP Charlie Zink.
Gomez, 27, becomes the 7th player in PawSox franchise-history to earn IL MVP honors. The others were Jim Rice in 1974, Ted Cox in 1977, Gary Allenson in 1978, Dave Stapleton in 1979, Pat Dodson in 1986, and Jeff Bailey in 2008. Gomez hit .310 in 100 games for Pawtucket with 34 doubles, 24 HR, and 74 RBI. He is currently 4th in the league in batting, tied for 2nd in HR and 4th in RBI despite being called-up to Boston four different times this season - the last time on August 18 where he has remained since. Mauro is also tied for 2nd in the IL with 34 doubles, leads the league with a .589 slugging pct. and 59 extra-base hits, and is 3rd in total bases (228). He played 52 games at 1B, 8 at 3B, and was the DH in 40 games for Pawtucket this season. Signed by the Red Sox as a free agent last February after hitting .304 with 24 HR & 90 RBI for the Gwinnett Braves last year, Gomez, a native of the Dominican Republic, made his Major League debut with Boston this May and in 14 games with the Red Sox is batting .292 with 1 HR & 6 RBI.
Lavarnway, who turned 25 this August, was recalled to Boston on August 1 after spending the first four months of the season with Pawtucket. In 83 games for the PawSox (80 at catcher) he hit .295 with 22 2B, 8 HR and 43 RBI. His .295 average is 10th best in the International League. He was voted Best Defensive Catcher in the IL by league managers. Ryan was selected in the 6th round of the 2008 draft after a standout career at Yale University where he became the Ivy League's all-time leader with 33 career homers. The California native belted 34 HR last year combined between Portland (14), Pawtucket (18), and Boston (2).
Iglesias, 22, was one of the youngest players in the International League this season. He was recently promoted to Boston for the second time this year on August 25. In 88 games with the PawSox (all at shortstop) he hit .266 with 1 HR, 23 RBI, and 12 SB. He was having a fine month of August batting .329 in 19 games this month. Jose had the 4th Lowest TPA/SO Ratio in the league at 8.61 (just 46 strikeouts in 396 plate appearances). Iglesias, who was born in Havana, Cuba and now lives in Miami, FL, was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in September of 2009. In both 2011 and 2012 he was voted Best Defensive Shortstop in the International League. He would have easily established a new PawSox record for best fielding pct. for a SS last season had he played in three more games at short to qualify (he had a .973 fielding pct. in 97 games).
Some notable PawSox International League All-Stars over the years include: outfielders Jim Rice & Fred Lynn (1974), 3B Butch Hobson (1976), SS Glenn Hoffman & 3B Dave Stapleton (1979), LHP Bob Ojeda (1981), 2B Marty Barrett (1982), 3B Steve Lyons (1984), OF Mike Greenwell (1986), SS Tim Naehring (1990), 3B Scott Cooper (1991), RHP Aaron Sele (1993), RHP Bronson Arroyo (2003), C Kelly Shoppach (2004 & 2005), and INF Dustin Pedroia (2006).