The Best and Brightest - Short Season

As the Dodgers Dugout and LADugout.com have done for the past 25 seasons, we select the most valuable player and the top pitcher from each short season minor league club. Our top-40 minor league players feature will begin soon.

The Ogden Raptors were managed by Damon Berryhill who had a 10-year Major League career with the Cubs. Braves, Red Sox, Reds and Giants. The former catcher was making his debut with the Dodgers organization.

The Raptors won the first half of the Pioneer League South Division with a 24-14 record. They were 18-20 in the second half and finished 42-34 in third place in the overall standings. They lost three straight to Oren in the semi-final post-season series.

Third baseman Brian Ruggiano finished second in the league with a .372 average, a .438 on-base percentage, nine home runs, 38 runs batted in and 22 stolen bases in 27 attempts. Outfielder Jerry Sands slugged 14 home runs to go with his .350 average before being promoted to Great Lakes.

The Raptors had a pair of outstanding catchers. Gorman Erickson hit .305 and tied for fourth with 18 doubles and J.T. Wise hit .338 with eight homers and 23 RBI in 39 games.

Outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez was the Pioneer League Most Valuable Player and also Ogden's MVP. He led the league with 18 home runs, 97 hits, 29 doubles, 50 extra-base hits, 59 runs scored, plus was second with 63 RBI,

Among the pitchers, Matt Magill led the club with six wins over 15 starts and posted an even .400 earned run average. He allowed only 59 hits in 72 innings. Ed Contreras finished 5-1, Nick Gaudi fanned 39 in 27 innings and Fredy Quintero recorded a 1.93 ERA.

The Top Pitcher Award goes to Steve Ames who was 1-1 with a 2.10 earned run and seven saves. He allowed only 20 his in 30 innings and struck out 47 while walking only six.

The Arizona Rookie League Dodgers were manage by Jeff Carter, who guided the Gulf Coast Dodgers in 2008 and Ogden in 2007.

The Dodgers struggled in their first season at Camelback Ranch, going 24-32 and finishing fourth in the six team division. They were 13-15 over first half action.

Catcher Pedro Tavarez ranked eighth in the league with a .325 average and he hit .365 with runners in scoring position. Nick Akins hit .333 and led the team with seven home runs and 34 runs batted in. Casio Grider led the team with 42 runs and 22 stolen bases in 24 attempts.

The Most Valuable Player award goes to 17-year-old Jonathan Garcia, who blazed down the stretch, hitting in 16 of his last 17 games. He recorded a .371 average over that stretch with eight doubles and 10 RBI. He finished the season with a .304 average.

The Arizona Dodgers had three pitchers in the league's top 10 in earned run average. Lefthander Bolivar Medina finished fifth with a 2.89 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 46.2 innings. Danny Danielson finished ninth with a 3.08 ERA, tied for the team lead (with Carlos Frias) with five wins and fanned 71 in 66 innings.

The Top Pitcher Award goes to Carl Webster, who finished 2-1 wit a 2.08 earned run average and allowed only 35 hits over 47.2 innings while striking out 56 and walking 14. Promoted to Ogden, he was 2-0 with a 3.08 ERA over four games.

Veteran manager Pedro Mega guided the Dominican Rookie League Dodgers in his 11th season with Los Angeles. His young team completed the season with a 30-40 record.

Charlie Mirabal hit only .254 but was second on the team with 29 runs batted in.

Enlly Morales gains Most Valuable Player honors in a paper-thin decision over Bladimir Franco. Morales hit .317 with 77 hits, 19 doubles, 29 runs batted in and .406 on-base percentage. Franco hit .282 with a bit more power (nine home runs) and a team-leading 39 runs batted in.

Pitching was the strength of Mega's club and Florencio Bustillos led the team wit four wins and struck out 56 in 48.2 innings. Carlos De Aza posted a 1.30 ERA over 18 games in relief. Arismendy Ozoria won three games and finished with a 2.53 ERA.

Yimi Garcia holds a slight edge on Gustavo Gomez for the Top Pitcher Honors. Garcia, working mostly in relief, had a 1.67 ERA over 54 innings, allowing 37 hits, walking 15 and fanning 51. Gomez, who made 13 starts, had a 2.70 ERA and allowed 55 hits in 60 innings while walking 19 and striking out 63.

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