Rochester slugger named league MVP, Rookie of the Year
August 27, 2013
The International League today announced its postseason All-Star Team and Award Winners as selected by the circuit's managers, coaches, media, and club representatives. The 2013 IL Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year is Rochester's Chris Colabello, currently with the Minnesota Twins. Colabello is the first player to win both awards in the same season since J.T. Snow with Columbus in 1992. The League's winningest pitcher, Durham's J.D. Martin, has been elected as the IL's Most Valuable Pitcher. Martin's skipper, Charlie Montoyo, is the International League Manager of the Year for the second time in four years.
Most Valuable Player & Rookie of the Year -- Chris Colabello (Rochester)
In just his second season in affiliated baseball after spending seven years in the independent leagues, Chris Colabello has been named the International League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year for 2013. He currently leads the League with a .352 batting average, a .427 on-base percentage, and a .639 slugging percentage to go along with 24 home runs and 76 RBIs in 89 games with the Red Wings. Prior to signing with Minnesota, Colabello was named the 2011 Independent Leagues Player of the Year by Baseball America. Last season he was runner-up for the Double-A Eastern League MVP award, hitting .284 with 19 homers and 98 RBIs. He also made a name for himself this spring as the cleanup hitter for Team Italy at the World Baseball Classic, hitting .333 with 7 RBIs. Colabello made his Major League debut for the Twins on May 22. He was elected to the Triple-A All-Star Game in July thanks to receiving the most online fan votes of any player. The 29-year-old collected a double and an RBI in the IL's 4-3 victory in Reno, following which he has primarily played in the big leagues with Minnesota. In addition to being named MVP, Colabello was also chosen as the League's Postseason All-Star first baseman. The Rochester Red Wings have now produced 12 IL Most Valuable Players, most of any franchise, though Colabello is their first since Jeff Manto in 1994. Rochester also leads the IL with 17 Rookies of the Year all-time, with Colabello being the first since Randy Ruiz in 2008. The last Red Wings player to win both awards in the same season was Rich Dauer in 1976.
Most Valuable Pitcher -- J.D. Martin (Durham)
Over a week removed from having established a new Durham franchise record for Triple-A victories in a single season, J.D. Martin has been named the International League's Most Valuable Pitcher for 2013. The 30-year-old right-hander is the League-leader with 15 wins and a ratio of 1.48 walks per 9 IP. Martin's last loss, one of just four this year, came on June 21 at Buffalo. Shortly thereafter he was elected to the International League All-Star Team, throwing a scoreless inning for the IL in Reno. Martin has been remarkably consistent all season, posting an ERA of 2.85 at home and 2.84 on the road. He is also the League's Postseason All-Star starting pitcher. Martin is a veteran of 34 starts in the big leagues, all coming with the Nationals between 2009 and 2010. After spending last season in the Miami organization, he signed with the Rays as a free agent in January. Martin is the second IL Most Valuable Pitcher from the Durham Bulls, joining Jeremy Hellickson (2010) on the exclusive list.
Manager of the Year -- Charlie Montoyo (Durham)
Having already clinched the International League South Division title, Durham skipper Charlie Montoyo can now also lay claim to the IL Manager of the Year Award. His Bulls own the best record in Triple-A Baseball at 83-53 (.610). Durham's division title is the sixth in seven seasons under Montoyo, who joined the Bulls in 2007 after piloting Tampa Bay's Double-A Montgomery club for three years. Montoyo led Durham to the 2009 Governors' Cup and Triple-A National Championship, one season before becoming the first-ever Bulls IL Manager of the Year in 2010. This year's club is possibly his most balanced yet, comfortably leading the International League in both runs scored (664) as well as team ERA (3.31). Despite having several players promoted to the Rays during the course of the season, including top prospects Wil Myers and Chris Archer, the Bulls have rolled right along. No IL team has more wins since July 1 than Durham's 32. The 48-year-old Montoyo is a former infielder who spent ten seasons in the Milwaukee, Montreal and Philadelphia organizations. This is his 17th year as a Minor League manager, having all come within the Tampa Bay farm system. He was honored by Minor League Baseball in 2009 with the Mike Coolbaugh Award for displaying outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field.
In addition to first baseman Chris Colabello and starting pitcher J.D. Martin, 10 other players have been named to the International League Postseason All-Star Team. In all, ten IL clubs are represented on the All-Star Team, led by Durham and Lehigh Valley with two All-Stars each.
All-Star Catcher -- Tony Sanchez (Indianapolis)
Indianapolis catcher Tony Sanchez has followed up his Top Star performance at the Triple-A All-Star Game by being named to the IL's Postseason All-Star Team. The 25-year-old is playing just his second season above the Double-A level and he hit his first Major League home run this past weekend off of San Francisco's Tim Lincecum. Sanchez is the third catcher in Indians history to be elected to the IL Postseason All-Star Team, following Jason Larue (1999) and Erik Kratz (2009).
All-Star Second Baseman -- Cesar Hernandez (Lehigh Valley)
Though he is currently in transition to become an outfielder, Lehigh Valley's Cesar Hernandez was chosen as the IL's Postseason All-Star second baseman for 2013. He played 75 games at second base before the mid-July decision to try him as an outfielder. Hernandez leads the IL with nine triples and is third in the League with a .319 batting average. The 23-year-old made his big league debut in late May, hitting .250 for the Phillies in nine games.
All-Star Shortstop -- Zach Walters (Syracuse)
Syracuse shortstop Zach Walters, who will turn 24 next week, has been named to the IL Postseason All-Star Team thanks in large part to his League-leading totals of 29 home runs, 66 extra-base hits and 247 total bases. Walters was also named a mid-season IL All-Star during his first full season playing above the Double-A level. Walters is the first shortstop from Syracuse to earn IL Postseason All-Star honors since Cesar Izturis in 2001.
All-Star Third Baseman -- Cody Asche (Lehigh Valley)
Triple-A rookie Cody Asche of Lehigh Valley has been named the League's Postseason All-Star third baseman. The 23-year-old was also a mid-season All-Star and hit .295 with 15 home runs, 68 RBIs, and 11 steals before making his Major League debut with the Phillies on July 30. Asche and Cesar Hernandez join first baseman Andy Tracy (2009) and starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd (2012) as the only IronPigs to ever earn IL Postseason All-Star honors.
All-Star Outfielder -- Nick Castellanos (Toledo)
The youngest International League Postseason All-Star is 21-year-old Toledo outfielder Nick Castellanos, who currently leads the IL with 78 runs scored and is second with 140 hits this season. The Triple-A rookie was recently named the IL's best batting prospect for 2013 by Baseball America. Castellanos is the first Toledo Mud Hens outfielder to be named to the Postseason All-Star Team since Jeff Frazier in 2010.
All-Star Outfielder -- Billy Hamilton (Louisville)
One year after establishing a new Minor League Baseball record with 155 stolen bases, Triple-A rookie Billy Hamilton is an IL Postseason All-Star. He is easily outdistancing the League this season with 73 steals and is also tied for second in the IL with 73 runs scored. The 22-year-old was also elected to the mid-season Triple-A All-Star Game, where his leadoff single, stolen base and run helped spark the IL to a 4-3 win. Hamilton is Louisville's first Postseason All-Star outfielder since Wladimir Balentien in 2010.
All-Star Outfielder -- Joey Terdoslavich (Gwinnett)
Current Atlanta Braves outfielder Joey Terdoslavich has been named to the IL Postseason All-Star Team. Though he last suited up for Gwinnett on July 3, Terdoslavich earned the honor on the strength of a .318 batting average, 18 home runs and 58 RBIs accumulated in 85 Triple-A contests. The 24-year-old has hit .281 since his first promotion to the Major Leagues. Terdoslavich is the second-ever outfielder from Gwinnett to earn IL Postseason All-Star honors, following Stefan Gartrell in 2011.
All-Star Designated Hitter -- Mauro Gomez (Buffalo)
28-year-old Buffalo slugger Mauro Gomez is just the second player in League history to be named the Postseason All-Star Designated Hitter in consecutive seasons, joining Gwinnett's Barbaro Canizares (2009-10). Last season's IL Most Valuable Player had another strong campaign after being claimed by Toronto this April. With 28 homers in 378 at-bats, Gomez owns the best HR/AB ratio in the IL this season (1/13.5). The only other Bison to earn honors as the IL Postseason All-Star designated hitter was Ernie Young in 2004.
All-Star Relief Pitcher -- Jairo Asencio (Norfolk)
Norfolk closer Jairo Asencio, 30, is an IL Postseason All-Star for the second time in his career. He first accomplished the feat in 2009 with Gwinnett (playing under the name Luis Valdez), the first of two seasons in which he led the League in saves (2011). With 24 saves this season, Asencio is within reach of becoming the first player in IL history to lead the League in saves three separate times. Before Asencio, the last member of the Tides to be named the IL Postseason All-Star relief pitcher was Cory Doyne in 2007.
All-Star Utility Player -- Vince Belnome (Durham)
The final All-Star spot goes to Durham's Vince Belnome, who has been selected as the International League's top utility player for 2013. The 25-year-old Belnome received votes as a first baseman, second baseman, third baseman and designated hitter after seeing significant time at each position this season. Also a mid-season All-Star, he is currently second in the IL in both on-base percentage (.604) and runs scored (73), and he's seventh in batting average (.298). The last Postseason All-Star utility player from Durham was Elliot Johnson in 2010.