Shelley Duncan is still hoping for a return to the Majors, but he hasn't exactly been sitting around waiting.
Duncan, who played in 23 games last year in the Bronx, was recognized for his huge season in the Minors on Tuesday when he was voted the International League's 2009 Most Valuable Player.
Reds right-hander Justin Lehr was voted Most Valuable Pitcher and Yankees outfielder Austin Jackson earned Rookie of the Year honors when the league unveiled its postseason All-Star team.
Duncan, New York's second-round pick in 2001, leads the league with 29 homers and 92 RBIs through Aug. 31. One of three outfielders voted to the postseason team, Duncan was also a midseason All-Star and named the IL's Player of the Week on May 4. He began the season hot, hitting .372 with nine homers and 27 RBIs in 18 April games before adding nine longballs and 22 RBIs in 22 contests in May.
Lehr (13-3, 3.31 ERA) began the season with Lehigh Valley, but rejoined his 2008 club, Louisville, when the Phillies dealt him back to the Reds in late May. He won all six of his starts in June and was the league's starting pitcher at the Triple-A All-Star Game in Portland, where he worked a
perfect first inning.
Jackson, the Yankees' top outfield prospect, is third in the league with 139 hits and tops the circuit with eight triples. The 22-year-old, batting .293, leads Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with 23 stolen bases.
Louisville skipper Rick Sweet became the first manager to be named International League Manager of the Year in consecutive seasons since Eddie Haas of Richmond in
Charlotte's Carlos Torres, promoted to Chicago on Tuesday, made the All-Star team as its starting pitcher after going 10-4 with a 2.39 ERA with 130 strikeouts for the Knights. Gwinnett's Luis Valdez was named the league's top reliever.
|2009 International League Postseason All-Star Team|
|C||Erik Kratz||Indianapolis||DH||Barbaro Canizares||Gwinnett|
|1B||Andy Tracy||Lehigh Valley||OF||Jordan Brown||Columbus|
|2B||Kevin Russo||Scranton/Wilkes-Barre||OF||Shelley Duncan||Scranton/Wilkes-Barre|
|3B||Andy Marte||Columbus||OF||Jon Weber||Durham|
|SS||Brent Dlugach||Toledo||SP||Carlos Torres||Charlotte|
|UTIL||Don Kelly||Toledo||RP||Luis Valdez||Gwinnett|
|Most Valuable Player: Shelley Duncan, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre|
|Most Valuable Pitcher: Justin Lehr, Lehigh Valley / Louisville|
|Rookie of the Year: Austin Jackson, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre|
|Manager of the Year: Rick Sweet, Louisville|
Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com.