Rochester Red Wings slugger Chris Colabello was named the 2013 International League's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year on August 27, as announced by the league office. The postseason awards were selected by the circuit's managers, coaches, media and club representatives.
Colabello, one of the most feared hitters in the International League this season, 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 (5th) and 76 RBI (3rd) in 89 games with the Red Wings.
The 29-year-old first baseman becomes the fifth Red Wings player in team history to be named IL MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season joining INF Rich Dauer (1976), OF Roger Freed ('70), OF Merv Rettenmund ('68) and INF Mike Epstein ('66).
The Framingham, Mass. native is the 14th player in Red Wings history to be tabbed IL MVP and the first since Jeff Manto in 1994. He's also the 17th Rookie of the Year in franchise history.
If Colabello does not return to Rochester in the season's final week, his .352 average will be the highest for a Wings slugger since Royle Stillman hit .354 in 1973 and the highest by a Wings batting champion since George Puccinelli (.391) in 1932.
Other honors bestowed upon the Wings slugger in 2013 include being elected as the starting first baseman and top vote-getter in online fan balloting for the IL squad at the Triple-A All-Star Game, two-time IL Player of the Week (4/4-4/7 & 5/13-5/19), two-time Twins MiLB Player of the Month (May & June) and the Topps IL Player of the Month for June (.362-8-26 in 25 G).
Colabello has earned five separate Major League promotions this season and is hitting .204 with four homers and eight RBI in 31 games with Minnesota.
Signed by the Twins as a minor league free agent prior to the 2012 season after seven seasons in the independent Can-Am League, Colabello hit .284 with 19 homers and a New Britain franchise record 98 RBI last season in his first year of affiliated baseball.
Colabello was the 2011 Independent League Player of the Year and last year finished runner-up in Eastern League MVP voting.
The other 2013 IL award winners include Durham's J.D. Martin (Most Valuable Pitcher) and Durham's Charlie Montoyo (Manager of the Year). Red Wings manager, Gene Glynn, finished second in Manager of the Year voting.. Click here for the official International League All-Star Team and Award Winners press release (pdf file).
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The Rochester Red Wings are the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Red Wings are operated by Rochester Community Baseball, Inc. and have been a community-owned pro baseball franchise since 1957; Rochester's pro baseball history dates back to 1885.
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