Liriano Named USA Today Minor League POY

Francisco Liriano was named USA Today Minor League Player of the Year on Wednesday, after putting up mind-boggling numbers between Double-A New Britain, and Triple-A Rochester. The 21-year old southpaw, who figures to be in the Minnesota Twins starting rotation in 2006, is the 19th winner of the award, which started in 1988. The award is based on the players just completed Minor League season, and Major League potential.

Francisco Liriano was named USA Today Minor League Player of the Year on Wednesday, after putting up mind-boggling numbers between Double-A New Britain, and Triple-A Rochester. The 21-year old southpaw, who figures to be in the Minnesota Twins starting rotation in 2006, is the 19th winner of the award, which started in 1988. The award is based on the players just completed Minor League season, and Major League potential.

Liriano was absolutely devestating at Triple-A Rochester, going 9-2, with a 1.78 ERA in 14 starts. For his season, at both levels, Liriano was 12-7, with a 2.63 ERA, and a Minor League best 204 strikeouts.

Liriano is only the fifth pitcher to ever win the award, and is the first from the Rochester Red Wings. Past winners of the award include Andruw Jones, Josh Beckett, Carlos Delgado, and Jose Reyes. Hopefully, Liriano will have just as good, or even better, careers than these Major Leaguers.

Liriano has appeared in four games for the Twins this season, and has started two of them. He is currently 0-1 with a 7.59 ERA, after getting roughed up in his last start against Oakland. He has, however, shown the ability to strikeout Major League hitters, with 17 K's in 10.2 innings of work.

He will probably get one more start before the season is over, and that should give him the experience he needs to be in the starting rotation next season. With fellow Rochester Red Wings pitcher Scott Baker also doing well at the Major League level, the future looks bright for the Twins pitching staff.

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