September 26, 2015 at 6:29 PM
The Red Sox have announced seven Minor League award recipients. Among them, Sam Travis (pictured, left) was named the Offensive Player of the Year and Williams Jerez (pictured, below) was named the Pitcher of the Year. Javier Guerra was also named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Yoan Moncada was named the Base Runner of the Year.
Travis, currently the 10th-ranked prospect on SoxProspects.com, had a breakout year for Salem and Portland. The 22-year old's first 66 ballgames of the year were with Salem, hitting .313/.378/.467 over that stretch. The remaining 65 games for Travis were with Portland, where he did not slow down with the bat, hitting .300/.384/.436 for the Sea Dogs. Travis was a Carolina League All-Star and was honored on SoxProspects.com with two Player of the Week awards this season and Player of the Month for June.
Jerez' 2015 season was split across three different levels. He began the year with Greenville, moved on to Salem for a brief stint, and then closed out the season with Portland. Overall, Jerez made 41 appearances, all out of the bullpen. He posted a 2.54 ERA in 88 2/3 innings to go along with 86 strikeouts and 36 walks. He had a 2.06 ERA in 14 games with Greenville, a 0.73 ERA in five games with Salem, and a 3.65 ERA in 22 games with Portland. Jerez was drafted in the second round in 2011 as an outfielder and began pitching last season for the first time. He is currently ranked 26th on SoxProspects.com.
Guerra is ranked seventh at SoxProspects.com and is known most for his skills in the field as a smooth shortstop with a cannon arm. He made 27 errors, but is known for his range and great hands which allow him to make plays that others cannot. SoxProspects.com's Ian Cundall was able to see Guerra in person in July, noting his great skills as a defender. Those skills are what allow him to make plays like this look easy.
Moncada, the top-ranked prospect at SoxProspects.com, swiped a remarkable 49 bases for Greenville in just 81 games. Perhaps what was most impressive was the fact that he was only caught stealing three times, good for a stolen base percentage of just over 94-percent. He started slow on the basepaths, but his .415 on-base percentage after June 25 helped him steal 48 of his 49 bases in the final 61 ballgames.
Lorenzo Cedrola was also named the Latin Program Player of the Year, and Denyi Reyes was named the Latin Program Pitcher of the Year.
Cedrola was signed by the Red Sox in February 2015 as an international free agent. The 17-year-old had a terrific season for the Red Sox2 team in the Dominican Summer League. He batted .321/.420/.415 in 67 games. He tallied eight doubles, seven triples, a home run, and 27 stolen bases in 34 attempts. His on-base percentage tied was tied for eighth-best in the DSL, and the 27 stolen bases were tied for seventh in the league.
Reyes was signed as an international free agent in 2014 by the Red Sox. He also spent 2015 with the DSL Red Sox2 team. He appeared in 15 games, starting 14 of them, and went 7-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 75 innings. He posted a 1.01 WHIP with a tremendous strikeout-to-walk ratio of 63-3. He had the least amount of walks of any pitcher with over 55 innings in the league this season. Fellow DSL Red Sox pitcher Roniel Raudes also walked just three in 53 2/3 innings, but other than that, no pitcher with three or less walks allowed on the season threw over 22 innings.
The final award the Red Sox handed out was to Jonathan Aro. He was named the Lou Gorman Award recipient, which is given to the Red Sox minor league player who has shown dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles on his way to the major league club.
Aro was in the hospital multiple times before the age of 20 because of Dengue fever. He signed with the Red Sox in June 2011 as a 20-year-old international free agent. He made 26 appearances with Pawtucket and eight appearances with Portland in 2015, posting a combined 3.04 ERA in 74 innings. He earned a promotion to Boston and made his major league debut on June 25 against Baltimore.
Photo Credit: Sam Travis and Williams Jerez by Kelly O'Connor