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Veteran Gac named Carolina MVP

Pelicans' Ross tabbed Pitcher of the Year, Holbert top skipper
September 1, 2011
Ian Gac doesn't have much more to prove at the Class A Advanced level, especially after collecting some hardware on Thursday.

The Winston-Salem Dash slugger turned in another big season in 2011, earning the Carolina League MVP award as the circuit announced its award winners and postseason All-Star team.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans left-hander Robbie Ross was selected Pitcher of the Year and Aaron Holbert of the Kinston Indians was named Manager of the Year.

Selected in the 26th round of the 2003 Draft, Gac has yet to advance past Class A Advanced, despite totaling 159 home runs and 545 RBIs over nine seasons with the Rangers and White Sox.

With Winston-Salem, the 26-year-old designated hitter is hitting .279 and leads the Carolina League with 33 homers, 93 RBIs and a .537 slugging percentage. He was a midseason All-Star and earned Player of the Week honors on Aug. 8.

Ross, 22, went 9-4 with a 2.26 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings with Myrtle Beach before his promotion to Double-A Frisco. The midseason All-Star still leads the league in ERA and was Pitcher of the Week on June 27.

In his second year with Kinston, Holbert had the K-Tribe in contention for the Southern Division second-half title heading into the final week of the season.

The league's top hitter, Andrelton Simmons of the Lynchburg Hillcats, is the All-Star shortstop after batting .306 with 51 RBIs. The Braves prospect is the only Carolina Leaguer with an average over .300.

Potomac Nationals catcher Sandy Leon and second baseman Jeff Kobernus joined Lynchburg first baseman Joey Terdoslavich, Pelicans third baseman Mike Olt around the infield, with Winston-Salem's Andy Wilkins selected as a utility player.

Pelicans teammates Ryan Strausborger and Jared Prince were selected to the All-Star outfield along with Potomac's Destin Hood and Bryce Brentz of the Salem Red Sox.

Kinston right-hander Preston Guilmet was chosen as the relief pitcher after leading the league with 34 saves.

All-Stars were chosen by league managers, general managers and media. Trainer Masanobu Koyanagi of the Wilmington Blue Rocks was selected in a vote of his peers conducted by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.

2011 Carolina League Postseason All-Star Team
Position Players
C Sandy Leon Potomac Washington
1B Joey Terdoslavich Lynchburg Atlanta
2B Jeff Kobernus Potomac Washington
3B Mike Olt Myrtle Beach Texas
SS Andrelton Simmons Lynchburg Atlanta
OF Destin Hood Potomac Washington
OF Ryan Strausborger Myrtle Beach Texas
OF Bryce Brentz Salem Boston
DH Ian Gac* Winston-Salem Chicago (AL)
UT INF Andy Wilkins Winston-Salem Chicago (AL)
UT OF Jared Prince Myrtle Beach Texas
SP Robbie Ross** Myrtle Beach Texas
RP Preston Guilmet Kinston Cleveland
Field Staff
Manager Aaron Holbert Kinston Cleveland
Trainer Masanobu Koyanagi Wilmington Kansas City

* Most Valuable Player
** Pitcher of the Year

Danny Wild is an editor for