Braves Announce Minor League Players Of The Year

The Atlanta Braves have announced their Players of the Year and Pitchers of the Year for their top four teams and two rookie league teams. The twelve players were honored Saturday night before the Braves game with the Florida Marlins.

RYAN LANGERHANS has been named the Richmond Braves Player of the Year. Langerhans, a 3rd round pick in the 1998 draft, hit .298 and led the team with 20 home runs and 72 RBI in 2004. Langerhans also was an International League leader in numerous offensive categories: 2nd in runs (103), 3rd in walks (70), 5th in OBP (.397), 7th in extra base hits (57), and tied for 8th in doubles (34).

ROMAN COLON was Richmond's Pitcher of the Year for 2004. Colon, currently in the Atlanta bullpen, was 4-1 with a 3.65 ERA in 51 games for the R-Braves. He allowed 72 hits in 74 innings with 22 walks and 64 strikeouts. Colon was excellent in July earning the Richmond Player of the Month award by going 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in 12 games (3 ER, 1 BB, and 17 K's in 20.1 IP).

The Greenville Player of the Year is ADAM STERN. Stern finished the season with a .322 batting average (third best in the Southern League), 8 home runs, and 47 RBI. He also was tied for 9th in the league in triples with 6, 7th in stolen bases with 27, 8th in the league in On base percentage with a .378 mark, and 9th in slugging percentage at .480. Atlanta's 4th round choice in 2001 out of Nebraska also played for Canada in this summer's Olympic Games.

DAN MEYER gets the nod as Greenville's Pitcher of the Year. The left-hander currently occupying a spot in Atlanta's bullpen was 6-3 with the G-Braves with a 2.22 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). Meyer allowed only 50 hits in 65 innings pitched, 16 earned runs, 12 walks, and 86 strikeouts. He was promoted to AAA Richmond on June 27th and then went 3-3 with a 3.79 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) for Richmond. Overall on the season, Meyer was 9-6 with a 2.49 ERA, 112 hits in 126.1 innings, 35 earned runs, 37 walks, and 139 strikeouts.

"The Franchise," JEFF FRANCOEUR is the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Player of the Year. The 6'4" outfielder hit .293 with 15 home runs (12th best in the Carolina League) and 52 RBI in 87 games for the Pelicans. He was also 7th in the league in doubles with 26. Francoeur ended the season at AA Greenville and hit .197 in 18 games. He is on his way to the Arizona Fall League in a few weeks.

KYLE DAVIES is the Pelicans Pitcher of the Year. The right-hander started his season in Myrtle Beach and went 9-2 in 14 games started with an ERA of 2.63. His nine wins were tied for 10th best in the league. Davies also allowed 55 hits in 75.1 innings pitched along with 32 walks and 95 strikeouts. He also pitched for Greenville and Richmond during the season and finished with an overall record of 13-3 and an ERA of 2.72 in 25 games started, 110 hits allowed in 142.1 innings, 43 earned runs, 57 walks, and 173 strikeouts.

One of Davies's former amateur teammates, JOSH BURRUS is the Player of the Year for the Rome Braves. The 21-year-old Burrus hit .272 with 11 home runs, 46 RBI, 30 doubles, and 30 stolen bases (tied for 11th in the league). He was also tied for 13th in the league with 137 hits. Burrus had a .330 on base percentage and a .410 slugging percentage.

19-year-old JAKE STEVENS was named as Rome's Pitcher of the Year after going 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA (3rd best in the South Atlantic League) in 27 games (19 starts). Stevens allowed 100 hits in 135 innings pitched along with 34 earned runs, 39 walks, and 140 strikeouts (7th best in the league). Stevens was also 2nd in the Sally League with a 1.03 WHIP.

CARL LOADENTHAL continued his impressive minor league career in 2004 and is the Player of the Year for the Danville Braves. Loadenthal hit .307 with 5 home runs and 32 RBI. He was 1st in the Appy League with 60 runs scored, tied for 3rd with 73, tied for 10th in stolen bases with 12, and 11th in on base percentage with a .390 mark.

The Pitcher of the Year for Danville is CHRIS VINES. The 6'5" right-hander from Alabama was 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 13 games (10 starts). Vines allowed 58 hits in 60.1 innings pitched, 22 earned runs, 14 walks, and 72 strikeouts. He was spectacular in the month of August going 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 5 games (20 hits in 28 innings, 2 earned runs, 6 walks, and 28 strikeouts). Vines was the Braves 5th round pick in the 2003 draft.

In the Gulf Coast League MAXIMILIANO RAMIREZ is the Player of the Year. Ramirez hit .275 and tied for the league lead with 8 home runs and was tied for second in the league with 35 RBI. Ramirez also led the league with 16 doubles and in extra base hits with 25. He was tied for 3rd in the league with 56 hits and was 3rd in slugging percentage at .480.

CARLOS RIVAS is the Pitcher of the Year for the GCL Braves. Rivas was 3-2 with 1 save and a 3.52 ERA in 13 games (8 starts). He allowed 40 hits in 46 innings pitched, 23 runs, 18 earned runs, 24 walks, and 44 strikeouts.

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