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Top prospects honored for 2012 play11/05/2012 2:33 PM ET
Minor League Baseball
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball™ and the Topps Company announced today that Darin Ruf, who led Minor League Baseball with 38 home runs, and Billy Hamilton, who broke the all-time single season stolen bases record by swiping 155, are among the honorees that have been selected as a league Topps Player of the Year in the annual George M. Trautman Awards. The Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays each had farmhands chosen in two of the 16 domestic Minor Leagues. Thirteen Major League organizations are represented in all.
The Reading Phillies first baseman hit 20 of his 38 homers in August on his way to winning Eastern League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year honors. Ruf's unbelievable August tied the professional record for home runs in a month set by Sammy Sosa in June 1998.
Hamilton is the Topps California League Player of the Year. The shortstop began his season with the Bakersfield Blaze, hitting .323 and stealing 104 bases in just 82 games. He then stole another 51 bases after a promotion to Double-A® Pensacola to break Vince Coleman's mark of 145 set in 1983 with the Macon Redbirds.
The other Philadelphia Phillies Minor League winner, besides Ruf, is Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs right-hander Tyler Cloyd (International). The two Pittsburgh farmhands are outfielder Gregory Polanco of the West Virginia Power (South Atlantic) and shortstop Dilson Herrera of the Gulf Coast League Pirates. Toronto's honorees include pitchers Justin Nicolino of the Lansing Lugnuts (Midwest) and Taylor Cole (Northwest) of the Vancouver Canadians.
Topps salutes the top performances throughout Minor League Baseball, including monthly awards and all-star teams in each classification.
2012 TOPPS/MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR