Braves Honor Top Minor Leaguers

The Atlanta Braves have named their minor league players and pitchers of the year. BravesCenter's Bill Shanks has the details.

The Atlanta Braves honored their minor league players and pitchers of the year Saturday night at Turner Field.

Kyle Davies was named as the Pitcher of the Year for the Richmond Braves. Davies was 5-2 in 13 starts for the AAA affiliate. He allowed 66 hits in 73.1 innings, 28 earned runs, 34 walks, and 62 strikeouts.

Richmond's Player of the Year is James Jurries, who started the season at first base and moved to left field. Jurries hit .284 with 21 home runs and 72 RBI in 363 at bats for Richmond.

Chuck James, who pitched in three levels in 2005, was named Mississippi's Pitcher of the Year. James started 16 games in AA and went 9-1 with an ERA of 2.09. He allowed only 20 earned runs on 62 hits in 86 innings, with only 18 walks and 104 strikeouts. James started the season in Myrtle Beach and is now on the Atlanta roster. His overall numbers in the Braves' system in 2005: 13-7, 2.12 ERA, 103 hits in 161.1 innings pitched, 38 earned runs, 36 walks, and 193 strikeouts.

Another player that split time between teams in 2005 was named as the Player of the Year for the Mississippi Braves. Scott Thorman ended the 2004 season in AA, and his return did not last long as he played only half the season in Mississippi. The left-handed hitting first baseman hit .305 with the M-Braves along with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 348 at bats. Thorman was promoted to AAA Richmond in July, where he hit .276 with 6 home runs and 27 RBI.

Brady Endl was Myrtle Beach's Pitcher of the Year. The 23-year-old lefty went 6-7 in 20 starts before injuring his right shoulder and missing the rest of the season. Endl had an ERA of 3.39 and allowed 87 hits in 109 innings pitched, 61 walks, and 101 strikeouts.

No surprise at the Pelicans' Player of the Year as Jarrod Saltalamacchia took the honors. Salty Dog hit .314 with 19 home runs and 81 RBI in 459 at bats. He also made tremendous strides behind the plate as the Myrtle Beach catcher.

Rome's Pitcher of the Year is lefty Matt Harrison. The 3rd rounder in 2003 went 12-7 this season with an ERA of 3.23 in 27 starts. Harrison allowed 151 hits in 167 innings pitched, 60 earned runs, 30 walks, and 118 strikeouts.

Clint Sammons is Rome's 2005 Player of the Year after hitting .286 with 4 home runs and 62 RBI. The former University of Georgia star was also extremely valuable behind the plate this season, helping the young Rome pitchers develop.

To the rookie level, where Jairo Cuevas was named as Danville's Pitcher of the Year. Cuevas was 6-1 in 12 games (10 starts) with a 1.95 ERA. He allowed 35 hits in 55.1 innings pitched with 22 walks and 69 strikeouts.

Third baseman Eric Campbell was Danville's Player of the Year. Campbell hit .313 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI in only 262 at bats. The 20-year-old right-handed hitter also stole 15 bases and was named as the Appalachian League Co-Player of the Year.

In the Gulf Coast League Beau Jones took home the Pitcher of the Year honors. The lefty went 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 8 games (7 starts). He allowed 15 runs on 25 hits in 35 innings of work, along with 16 walks and 41 strikeouts. Jones was the Braves' supplemental first round pick in last June's amateur draft.

The King, Elvis Andrus, lived up to the hype and won the Player of the Year award for the GCL Braves. Andrus, who didn't turn 17 until the last week of the season, hit .295 with 3 home runs and 20 RBI in 166 at bats.

The Dominican Summer League I team's Pitcher of the Year was Edgar Osuna, a 6'1" left-hander from Mexico. Osuna went 3-1 with a 0.94 ERA in 13 games (8 starts), 34 hits allowed in 47.2 innings, 5 earned runs, 7 walks, and 57 strikeouts. Osuna doesn't turn 18 until late November.

Concepcion Rodriguez, a 6'2" right-handed hitting outfielder, is the DSL Player of the Year. Rodriguez hit .281 with 5 home runs and 32 RBI in 196 at bats. Rodriguez was signed two years ago out of Panama.

Carlos Sencion is the DSL II's Pitcher of the Year. Sencion is a 6'6" lefty that will turn 21 years old in November. Sencion went 2-3 with a 1.29 ERA in 13 games (11 starts), and allowed 38 hits in 48.2 innings pitched. He walked only 18 and struck out 71.

And finally, the DSL II's Player of the Year is Tony De La Cruz, a switch-hitting shortstop out of the Dominican. De La Cruz hit .265 with 2 home runs and 12 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 166 at bats.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. He can be reached at

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