The Los Angeles Dodgers today named Tulsa Drillers pitcher Tony Gonsolin as the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Drillers infielder Gavin Lux as the Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year. Gonsolin and Lux joined the Drillers roster in mid-season and helped lead the franshise to its first Texas League title in 20 year.
In 26 combined starts this season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa, Gonsolin had a 10-2 record with a 2.60 ERA (37 ER/ 128.0 IP), striking out a combined 155 batters against just 42 walks. He began his season in the California League, posting a 2.69 ERA (25 ER/83.2 IP) in 17 starts and was named a Mid-Season All-Star before his promotion to Tulsa on July 14. The 24-year-old then dominated in nine starts for the Drillers, going a perfect 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA (12 ER/44.1 IP), a 1.08 WHIP and a .203 opponent's batting average.
The Vacaville, California native was selected in the ninth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Mary's College where he split playing time as an outfielder and pitcher before he transitioned to pitching full-time with the Dodgers. In 87 career minor-league games (26 starts), the right-handed pitcher went 18-10 with 10 saves, a 3.14 ERA (80 ER/229.0 IP) while striking out 265 batters against 68 walks.
Lux started 2018 with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga batting .312 (72-for-231) with 8 home runs and 35 RBI and was named a Mid-Season All-Star. The 20-year-old continued his dominance in the second half of the season, slashing .346/.396/.528 and was selected as a post-season California League All-Star, and finished among league leaders in average (.324, 3rd), OBP (.396, 2nd), SLG (.520, 3rd) and OPS (.916, 2nd). After 88 games with the Quakes, the Kenosha, Wisconsin native was promoted to Double-A Tulsa where he hit .324 (34-for-105) with four home runs, nine RBI and a .408 on-base percentage in 28 regular season games.
Since being selected as the first-round pick by the Dodgers in the 2016 draft, the shortstop has appeared in 283 career minor league games, slashing .288/.368/.432 with 22 homers, 54 doubles, and 117 RBI.
Gonsolin and Lux will both be presented their respective awards and honored in a pregame ceremony at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 18 vs. Colorado.
Branch Rickey Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year: 1989-2018
Year Player of the Year Pitcher of the Year
1989 Mike Huff, Albuquerque (OF) Jim Poole, Vero Beach (LHP)
1990 Henry Rodriguez, San Antonio (OF) Jamie McAndrew, Bakersfield/San Antonio (RHP)
1991 Eric Karros, Albuquerque (IB) Pedro Martinez, San Antonio/Albuquerque (RHP)
1992 Mike Piazza, San Antonio/Albuquerque (C) Todd Williams, Bakersfield/San Antonio (RHP)
1993 Billy Ashley, Albuquerque (OF) Kip Gross, Albuquerque (RHP)
1994 Billy Ashley, Albuquerque (OF) Greg Hansell, Albuquerque (RHP)
1995 Adam Riggs, San Bernardino (IF) Gary Rath, San Antonio/Albuquerque (LHP)
1996 Paul Konerko, San Antonio/Albuquerque (IF) Billy Neal, Vero Beach (RHP)
1997 Paul Konerko, Albuquerque (IF) Dennys Reyes, San Antonio/Albuquerque (LHP)
1998 Angel Peña, San Antonio (C) Luke Prokopec, San Bernardino/San Antonio (RHP)
1999 Chin-Feng Chen, San Bernardino (OF) Eric Gagné , San Antonio (RHP)
2000 Joe Thurston, San Bernardino (IF) Carlos Garcia, San Bernardino (RHP)
2001 Phil Hiatt, Las Vegas (IF) Ricardo Rodriguez, Vero Beach (LHP)
2002 Joe Thurston, Las Vegas (IF) Edwin Jackson, South Georgia (RHP)
2003 Franklin Gutierrez, VB/Jacksonville (OF) Greg Miller, Vero Beach/Jacksonville (LHP)
2004 Joel Guzman, Vero Beach/Jacksonville (OF) Chad Billingsley, Vero Beach/Jacksonville (RHP)
2005 Andy LaRoche, Vero Beach/Jacksonville (IF) Chad Billingsley, Jacksonville (RHP)
2006 James Loney, Las Vegas (1B) Mark Alexander, Jacksonville/Las Vegas (RHP)
2007 Chin-lung Hu, Jacksonville/Las Vegas (IF) James McDonald, Inland Empire/Jacksonville (RHP)
2008 Ivan De Jesus, Jr., Jacksonville (IF) James McDonald, Jacksonville/Los Angeles (RHP)
2009 Dee Gordon, Great Lakes (IF) Scott Elbert, Chattanooga/Albuquerque/Los Angeles (LHP)
2010 Jerry Sands, Great Lakes/Chattanooga (IF/OF) Rubby De La Rosa, Great Lakes/Chattanooga (RHP)
2011 Scott Van Slyke, Chattanooga (IF/OF) Shawn Tolleson, Great Lakes/Rancho/Chattanooga (RHP)
2012 Joc Pederson, Rancho Cucamonga (OF) John Ely, Albuquerque (RHP)
2013 Scott Schebler, Rancho Cucamonga (OF) Zach Lee, Chattanooga (RHP)
2014 Joc Pederson, Albuquerque (OF) Julio Urias, Rancho Cucamonga (LHP)
Corey Seager, Rancho Cucamonga/Chattanooga (IF)
2015 Alex Verdugo, Great Lakes/Rancho Cucamonga (OF) Zach Lee, Oklahoma City (RHP)
2016 Edwin Rios, Great Lakes/Rancho Cucamonga/Tulsa (IF) Brock Stewart, Rancho Cucamonga/Tula/Oklahoma City/LA (RHP)
2017 Keibert Ruiz, Great Lakes/Rancho Cucamonga (C) Walker Buehler, Rancho Cucamonga/Tulsa/Oklahoma City (RHP)
2018 Gavin Lux, Rancho Cucamonga/Tulsa (INF) Tony Gonsolin, Rancho Cucamonga/Tulsa (RHP)
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