Alexander, Denker Honored By Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers named second baseman Travis Denker, who played 25 games for Class A Columbus and two games for Class A Vero Beach, and right-hander Mark Alexander of Vero Beach as the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for July, according to Dodgers director, player development Terry Collins.

The right-handed-hitting Denker batted .426 (40-for-94) for Columbus, compiling a .495 on-base percentage and .798 slugging percentage while collecting nine home runs, eight doubles, 24 RBIs, 21 runs scored and 13 walks.

Before being promoted to Vero Beach on July 30, Denker hit safely in his final nine games with the Catfish. During that streak, he batted .486 (17-for-35) with two homers, five doubles, eight RBIs and seven runs scored. His month featured 14 multihit games, including five three-hit efforts. On July 10 at Asheville, he slugged three home runs and drove in seven runs. It was Denker's second three-homer game of the campaign as he also went deep three times on June 16 vs. Rome. In a July 5 contest at Hickory, he homered twice, singled, knocked in three runs, walked two times and scored four runs.

Denker, who turned 20 years old on Aug. 5, was a starter for the South Division team in the June 28 South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Overall, in 101 games for the Catfish, he batted .310 with 21 homers, 23 doubles, one triple, 68 RBIs, 65 runs scored, 67 walks and a .417 on-base percentage.

A 21st-round selection in the June 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of Brea Olinda High School in Brea, Calif., Denker is in his third season in the Dodgers system. He hit .311 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs in 57 games for Rookie-level Ogden last season.

Alexander made 11 relief appearances in July and was 2-0 with eight saves and a 1.72 ERA. In 15 2/3 innings of work, he allowed nine hits and six walks while striking out 28 batters and limiting opponents to a .164 batting average. He was unscored upon in his first six games of the month, going 1-0 and notching four saves in 8 1/3 innings.

The 24-year-old Alexander was also the Florida State League's Rolaids Relief Man competition winner for July as he accumulated 28 points (three points for each save, two points for each win).

Overall this season, Alexander has pitched in 45 games and is 4-2 with 21 saves and a 2.25 ERA. He has yielded 49 hits and 21 walks with 83 strikeouts in 56 innings. During April, he was 1-1 with a pair of saves and a 0.60 ERA in 10 appearances. He was 1-0 and collected four saves while compiling a 2.13 ERA in 12 May outings. He earned five saves in June.

Alexander was the Dodgers' 20th-round selection in the June 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Missouri, where he enjoyed a four-year career. He made his professional debut with Ogden last season and was 4-1 with nine saves and a 2.65 ERA in 25 games out of the bullpen.

Each Dodgers Minor League manager nominates players from his team for the monthly honors with the Minor League coordinators selecting the winners.

Others receiving consideration for July honors were: second baseman Delwyn Young (combined .299, 21 RBIs for Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A Las Vegas; Jacksonville -- right-handed pitcher Chad Billingsley (3-1, 40 strikeouts in 33 innings), right-handed pitcher Justin Orenduff (3-0, 1.88 ERA); Vero Beach -- shortstop Chin-lung Hu (.386), outfielder Matt Kemp (.357, eight homers, eight doubles, 25 RBIs), right-handed pitcher Casey Hoorelbeke (1-0, 0.87 ERA), right-handed pitcher Danny Muegge (3-0, 2.00 ERA); Columbus -- left-handed pitcher Scott Elbert (3-1, 2.20 ERA), left-handed pitcher Wesley Wright (1.13 ERA); Ogden -- third baseman Russell Mitchell (.282, eight home runs, eight doubles, 25 RBIs), first baseman David Sutherland (.367, 20 RBIs), right-handed pitcher Ramon Troncoso (3-0, two saves, 2.63 ERA); Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Dodgers -- first baseman Eduardo Perez (.363, 18 RBIs), left-handed pitcher Ramon Paredes (2-0, 2.84 ERA).

Vero Beach third baseman Andy LaRoche was selected as the Dodger Minor League Player of the Month for both April and May. Left-handers Luis Gonzalez of Jacksonville and Chuck Tiffany of Vero Beach shared Pitcher of the Month accolades for April. Columbus right-handers Blake Johnson and Chris Malone were Dodger Minor League Co-Pitchers of the Month in May. The June honorees were Vero Beach second baseman Tony Abreu and Columbus/Jacksonville pitcher Carlos Alvarez.

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