Jennings named Southern League MVP

Mudcats' Wood picked as circuit's Most Outstanding Pitcher, All-Stars selected

Travis Wood was promoted in July but is still among league-leaders in strikeouts. (Tony Farlow/

By Josh Jackson / Special to | August 31, 2009 12:41 PM

Desmond Jennings and Travis Wood both played their most recent games at the Triple-A level, but their performances in the Southern League this year were unforgettable.

Their efforts were recognized on Monday as Jennings was voted the Southern League Most Valuable Player Award and Wood was named the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher for his 19 starts with the Carolina Mudcats.

Jennings, a Rays prospect, hit .316 with eight homers, eight triples, 69 runs scored and 45 RBIs with the Montgomery Biscuits. He's still tied for second in the league with 37 stolen bases as of Aug. 31 despite being called up to Durham on Aug. 1.

Wood, a southpaw in the Reds organization, went 9-3 and put up a phenomenal 1.21 ERA over 119 innings for Carolina. He was promoted to Louisville on July 19, yet as of August 30, he was still tied for fourth with 103 Southern League strikeouts. Wood issued just 37 walks during his time with the Mudcats.

Everardo Magallanes, skipper of the Birmingham Barons, was named Manager of the Year. Birmingham had no trouble securing its second consecutive South Division first-half title, posting a 48-21 record before the All-Star break. Magallanes kept the Barons inspired through the dog days of summer, and they enter the final day of August with a 37-25 mark in the second half.

This is Magallanes' first year in the White Sox system (he spent the previous three seasons in the Angels organization), and he has his squad leading the league in hitting, runs, home runs, wins, shutouts and homers allowed.

Five of Magallanes' players -- Tyler Flowers, C.J. Retherford, David Cook, Stefan Gartrell and John Ely -- were named to the Southern League postseason All-Star team, and Retherford was the circuit's only unanimous selection.

West Tenn standouts Ezequiel Carrera and Greg Halman were all also named to the postseason All-Star roster while Mississippi's Matt Young was voted the league's "best hustler."

The awards were voted upon by a committee composed of league managers, radio broadcasters and members of the regional print media.

2009 Southern League Postseason All-Star Team
CTyler FlowersBirminghamDHGreg HalmanWest Tenn
1BBlake LalliTennesseeRHPJohn ElyBirmingham
2BC.J. RetherfordBirminghamLHPTravis WoodCarolina
3BJuan FranciscoCarolinaRPMatt PetersonJacksonville
SSPedro CiriacoMobileBest HustlerMatt YoungMississippi
UTILTodd FrazierCarolina
OFDavid CookBirmingham
OFSteven GartrellBirmingham
OFDesmond JenningsMontgomery
Manager of the Year: Everardo Magallanes, Birmingham
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Travis Wood, Carolina
Most Valuable Player: Desmond Jennings, Montgomery

Josh Jackson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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