Munoz, Rodriguez earn top Appy honors

Pudge's son voted top pitcher; Bucs infielder named Player of the Year

Carlos Munoz is batting .326 against lefties and .331 when facing right-handers. (Carl Kline/MiLB.com)

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | August 25, 2015 4:32 PM

His father may have a room full of trophies, but Dereck Rodriguez is just getting started on his collection.

Rodriguez, a Twins right-hander, and Pirates prospect Carlos Munoz took home the Appalachian League's top two awards Tuesday when the circuit revealed it's end-of-season All-Star team and award-winners.

Munoz, a 21-year-old first baseman, was voted the Appalachian League Player of the Year after hitting .330 with 11 homers, 38 RBIs and a .428 on-base percentage in 52 games with Rookie-level Bristol. The left-handed native of Mexico, who produced his second career three-homer game July 25, originally signed with Pittsburgh in July 2011 and has spent each of the last five seasons with one of the Pirates' Rookie affiliates. He batted .396 in July after starting the season with a .346 mark in June.

Rodriguez, 23, was named the league's Pitcher of the Year after going 5-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 10 starts for Elizabethton. The son of 14-time Major League All-Star catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Dereck, a right-hander who also played for Class A Cedar Rapids and Class A Advanced Fort Myers, has 45 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 54 1/3 innings with the E-Twins this year. The 6-foot-1 starter was drafted by the Twins as an outfielder in 2011 but converted to pitching last year.

Elizabethton placed four on the All-Star roster, including outfielder Lamonte Wade, reliever Kuo Hua Lo and athletic trainer Steve Taylor. A pair of Yankees prospects, second baseman Gosuke Katoh and outfielder Carlos Vidal, made the list in Pulaski's first season with New York while Johnson City boasted three All-Stars in shortstop Edmundo Sosa, infielder Eli Alvarez and outfielder Magneuris Sierra.

Longtime Double-A Trenton manager Tony Franklin took home the Manager of the Year title in his first season with Pulaski. The full roster is below.

2015 APPALACHIAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM
NAME POS TEAM MLB ORG
Patrick Mazeika C Kingsport NYM
Carlos Munoz* 1B Bristol PIT
Gosuke Katoh 2B Pulaski NYY
Connor Goedert 3B Greeneville HOU
Edmundo Sosa SS Johnson City STL
Eliezer Alvarez UT INF Johnson City STL
Brandon Dulin DH Burlington KC
Kevin Kaczmarski OF Kingsport NYM
Magneuris Sierra OF Johnson City STL
Carlos Vidal OF Pulaski NYY
Lamonte Wade UT OF Elizabethton MIN
Dereck Rodriguez RHP Elizabethton MIN
Nestor Cortes LHP Pulaski NYY
Kuo Hua Lo Reliever Elizabethton MIN
Tony Franklin Manager Pulaski NYY
Steve Taylor Athletic Trainer Elizabethton MIN
* Player of the Year
† Pitcher of the Year

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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