CORPUS CHRISTI - Former Hooks George Springer and David Martinez earned Texas League Player and Pitcher of the Year honors, league president Tom Kayser announced Tuesday. Pitching coach Gary Ruby was named the Mike Coolbaugh Coach of the Year, awarded to the league's top assistant.
Right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, third baseman Jonathan Meyer and catcher Max Stassi joined Martinez and Springer on the TL Post-Season All-Star Team.
Springer, who entered 2013 as Baseball America's No. 3 Astros prospect, earned the league's Player of the Year award despite playing just the first half of the season with Corpus Christi. In 73 games, Houston's 2011 first-round draft pick hit .297 with 19 home runs, 55 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.
At the time of his promotion to Triple-A, Springer led or shared the Texas League lead in home runs, runs (56), total bases (158) and slugging percentage (.579). With Oklahoma City he has been even better, hitting .307 with 18 home runs, 50 RBIs and 20 steals, while he pursues the first 40-40 season in Minor League Baseball since 1956.
Martinez arrived in Corpus Christi as a less heralded prospect than Springer, but turned into the league's most dominant pitcher. In 26 games with the Hooks, 18 starts, he went 14-2 with a 2.02 ERA and one save. Martinez walked 20 and struck out 86 in 129.1 innings pitched. He allowed more than three runs in an appearance just once.
After a promotion to Oklahoma City August 8, Martinez still paces the circuit in victories, earned run average, WHIP (1.00) and winning percentage (.875). The right-hander from Venezuela made two appearances for Oklahoma City before he made his big league debut August 21 at Texas.
In his second season as Corpus Christi pitching coach, Gary Ruby has led Hooks hurlers to a 3.72 team earned run average, fourth in the Texas League. The club's 14 shutouts lead the league and its four complete games are tied for first.
Ruby is in his sixth year as a pitching coach in the Astros organization and his 27th overall in the minor leagues, dating to his hiring with Cleveland in 1987. He spent three years as a pitcher in the Indians farm system after they drafted him out of Arizona State in 1969.
With a 100 mile-per-hour heater, Mike Foltynewicz took the Texas League by storm when he blitzed San Antonio for nine strikeouts over five shutout innings in his Double-A debut May 6. Since his promotion from the California League, "Folty" is 5-3 with a 2.90 ERA and three saves in 16 starts plus six appearances out of the bullpen. He has walked 52 and whiffed 95 in 102.1 innings pitched.
The Astros selected Foltynewicz with the 19th overall pick in the 2010 draft out of Minooka (IL) High School and he earned Houston's Minor League Pitcher of the Year award in 2012 after a 14-4 campaign at Class-A Lexington.
Max Stassi joined the Hooks from extended spring training May 1 and hit .277 with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs before a promotion straight from Double-A to the majors on August 20. The Yuba City, Calif. native threw out 37 percent (18-49) of runners that attempted to steal against him.
He posted a monster month of July, batting .333 with 11 long balls and 24 runs batted in, en route to being named TOPPS Texas League Player of the Month.
Jonathan Meyer is Corpus Christi's lone member of the TL Post-Season All-Star team to play the entire season with the Hooks. The slick-fielding third baseman is hitting .263 with 15 homers and 68 RBIs in addition to belting three walk-off hits, two of which left the ballpark.
He leads all league qualifiers at third base with a .958 fielding percentage, 382 total chances, 288 assists and 28 double plays.
Below is the complete Texas League Post-Season All-Star Team.
1B Anthony Aliotti, Midland
2B Taylor Lindsey, Arkansas
3B Ruben Gotay, Springfield
3B Jonathan Meyer, Corpus Christi
SS Cristhian Adames, Tulsa
UT Angelys Nina, Tula
OF Reymond Fuentes, San Antonio
OF Mike O'Neill, Springfield
OF Kyle Parker, Tulsa
OF George Springer, Corpus Christi
DH Brett Nicholas, Frisco
C Max Stassi, Corpus Christi
P Christian Bergman, Tulsa
P Mike Foltynewicz, Corpus Christi
P Carlos Hernandez, Midland
P Brandon Hynick, Arkansas
P Jeremy McBryde, San Antonio
P David Martinez, Corpus Christi
P Kevin Quackenbush, San Antonio
P Neil Ramirez, Frisco
P Keyvius Sampson, San Antonio
Texas League Manager of the Year: Rich Dauer, San Antonio
Texas League Pitcher of the Year: David Martinez, Corpus Christi
Texas League Player of the Year: George Springer, Corpus Christi
Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year: Gary Ruby, Corpus Christi