Braves sweep Appy League honors

Crim, Spanjer-Furstenburg named Pitcher, Player of the Year

Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg leads the Appalachian League in batting, hits and RBIs. (Jerry Hale/MiLB.com)

By Daren Smith / MLB.com | August 25, 2009 6:22 PM

Having already secured a spot in the Championship Series, the Danville Braves swept the Appalachian League postseason awards, which were announced Tuesday.

Right-hander Matt Crim, who's already broken the single-season club record with 10 wins, was named Pitcher of the Year. First baseman Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, who leads the league in batting and RBIs, secured Player of the Year honors. And Paul Runge, who has guided the Braves to four Eastern Division titles in five years, was named Manager of the Year.

Selected by Atlanta in the 21st round of this year's Draft, Crim is 10-0 and ranks fifth in the league with a 2.61 ERA.

Spanjer-Furstenburg, a 2009 16th-round pick, is hitting .357 with seven homers and 50 RBIs in 55 games. The native of South Africa also ranks in the top five in the league in hits, doubles, on-base percentage and slugging.

Under Runge, Danville boasts a league-best 43-17 record and leads second-place Princeton by 11 games. The Braves will face the Elizabethton Twins in the best-of-3 Finals, beginning Sept. 2.

Danville's other representative on the league's postseason All-Star team is outfielder Cory Harrilchak, who's hitting .329 with two homers and 39 RBIs.

Elizabethton has two All-Stars -- shortstop Brian Dozier (.351, 0 HR, 13 RBIs) and designated hitter Josmil Pinto (.318, 10, 46).

The Pulaski Mariners and Johnson City Cardinals both matched Danville with a league-best three All-Stars.

Representing Pulaski are third baseman Vinnie Catricala (.305, 7, 34), infielder Gabriel Noriega (.314, 4, 26) and outfielder Brandon Haveman (.348, 5, 16). The Cardinals' All-Stars are catcher Robert Stock (.321, 6, 22), third baseman Rich Racobaldo (.415, 4, 26) and reliever David Kington (2-1, eight saves, 3.31 ERA).

The other All-Stars are Greeneville Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (.324, 3, 18), outfielders Brady Shoemaker (.354, 9, 31) of the Bristol White Sox and Cory Rogers (.315, 6, 32) of the Princeton Rays and Bluefield Orioles right-hander Vito Frabizio (4-3, 2.91).

Bristol's Cory Barton was named Trainer of the Year.

Daren Smith is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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