Jacobs, Bannister win top minor league honors

Mike Jacobs and Brian Bannister have been selected as the Sterling Organizational Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, the Mets announced Wednesday.

Jacobs, 24, earns the organization's top honor for the second time in the last three seasons after losing much of 2004 to a shoulder injury, and becomes the first player ever to be selected twice.

Noted for his torrid start at the major league level, homering four times in his first four games to set a big league record, Jacobs was promoted to New York after compiling an exceptional season at Double-A Binghamton that earned him an Eastern League MVP award.

With the B-Mets, Jacobs – who successfully transitioned from catcher to first base – batted .321 with 25 home runs, 37 doubles and 93 RBI in 117 games. He carried a 22-game hitting streak into his Aug. 17 promotion.

Bannister, 24, vaulted to the top of the organizational depth charts in 2005 by winning 13 games between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Norfolk.

The son of former veteran big league pitcher Floyd Bannister, the right-hander went 9-4 with a 2.56 ERA in 18 games at Binghamton before earning a July 19 promotion to Norfolk, where he went 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA.

An Eastern League All-Star and a two-time League Pitcher of the Week (Eastern League, June 19 and International League, Aug. 21), Bannister is currently pitching for Davey Johnson's Team USA at the World Cup in the Netherlands.

Jacobs, Bannister and the other seven Sterling Award winners will be honored at Shea Stadium in a pre-game ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 18.

2005 Sterling Award Winners

  • Norfolk Tides (AAA): RHP Jason Scobie.
  • Binghamton Mets (AA): 2B-SS Anderson Hernandez.
  • St. Lucie Mets (A): UT Andy Wilson.
  • Hagerstown Suns (A): OF Carlos Gomez.
  • Brooklyn Cyclones (A): OF Joseph Holden.
  • Kingsport Mets (R): 3B Matt Anderson.
  • Gulf Coast Mets (R): SS Emmanuel Garcia.

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