Jose Siri Named Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year
Dayton, Ohio-Dayton Dragons 2017 outfielder Jose Siri has been selected as the Cincinnati Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year. The Reds announced their Minor League player awards over the weekend, honoring four players for their achievements.Relief pitcher Aaron Fossas, who also spent the entire 2017 season with the Dragons,
Dayton, Ohio-Dayton Dragons 2017 outfielder
The Reds named former Dragons third baseman
Siri led the Reds farm system in home runs (24) and stolen bases (46) with the Dragons in 2017. He finished second to Senzel in batting average among full-season players (.293) and ranked third in the Reds system in runs batted in (76). Siri led the Midwest League in six major categories (runs, hits, extra base hits, total bases, slugging percentage, and stolen bases). He finished tied for first in the league in triples, second in home runs, fourth in RBI, and fifth in batting average. He also broke a 40-year-old league record by producing a 39-game hitting streak. Siri was named as a Midwest League Full-Season All-Star and was selected as the league's Player of the Month for July. He was named by Baseball America as the Midwest League's "Best Defensive Outfielder" and "Fastest Baserunner." Siri was also featured prominently on Baseball America's list of best tools in the Reds farm system, named as the organization's "Best Power Hitter," "Fastest Baserunner," "Best Athlete," and "Best Outfield Arm."
Siri's selection marked the second straight year that a Dragons player was named Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year.
Fossas became the sixth Dragons player to win the Reds Minor League Community Service Award since 2011. The award is given to only one player each year across all levels of the Reds farm system. Previous Dragons winners of the Reds Community Service Award were Drew Hayes (2011),
In each of the last eight years, a Dragons player from that season has earned at least one of the Reds three Minor League on-field awards. In addition to Siri and Long, the list also includes Mahle (Player of the Year in 2015),
The Reds Minor League Player of the Year award is named after Sheldon "Chief" Bender, who worked in professional baseball for 64 years, 39 of those with the Reds. Bender oversaw the Reds farm system from 1967-'88, producing stars such as Ken Griffey Sr., Dave Concepcion, Ron Oester, Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo, Paul O'Neill, and countless others. Bender passed away in 2008 at the age of 88.
Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award winners:
2000 Austin Kearns
2001 Adam Dunn
2002 Brandon Larson
2003 Stephen Smitherman
2004 Richie Gardner
2008 Chris Valaika
2011 Billy Hamilton
2012 Billy Hamilton
2013 Seth Mejias-Brean
2015 Tyler Mahle
*Player played for the Dragons in the year he won the award.