Lynchburg first baseman, Winston-Salem right-hander take honors
August 30, 2015
Nellie Rodriguez and Matt Heidenreich have both already moved on to Double-A ball, but both are still leaving their marks on the Carolina League.
Rodriguez was voted the 2015 Carolina League Most Valuable Player on Saturday while Heidenreich took the Class A Advanced circuit's Pitcher of the Year honors. Voting was done by league managers, general managers and media.
Rodriguez, the Indians' No. 23 prospect, was a 2012 15th-round pick by Cleveland back in 2012 and enjoyed his best professional season with Lynchburg this season. The 21-year-old first baseman led the Carolina League with 17 homers, 84 RBIs, a .495 slugging percentage and an .852 OPS before getting the bump to Double-A Akron on Aug. 11. His 94 RBIs between the two levels has marked a career high.
Heidenreich, who got his promotion to Double-A Birmingham on Aug. 17, still leads the Class A Advanced circuit with 12 wins for Winston-Salem and ranks among the league leaders in ERA (2.76, third), WHIP (1.16, fourth) and strikeouts (103, sixth). This all comes in the 24-year-old right-hander's second stint in the White Sox system. A 2009 fourth-round pick by Chicago, Heidenreich was traded to the Astros in July 2012 but was cut by Houston last November and signed a Minor League deal with the White Sox one month later.
Considered the No. 38 prospect in the game, Lynchburg outfielder Clint Frazier was the only top-100 prospect to crack the Carolina League's end-of-season All-Star team. The 20-year-old slugger has a .280/.370/.451 line with 15 homers, two triples, 32 doubles, 70 RBIs and 13 steals in 72 games with the Hillcats.
Here is the complete list of the Carolina League end-of-season All-Stars: