Canzler named International League MVP

Canzler named International League MVP

ARLINGTON -- Russ Canzler was named the Most Valuable Player of the Triple-A International League on Tuesday.

"That's outstanding," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "I know he's had a great season. I'm very happy for him."

Canzler, 25, is the 15th league MVP in the history of the Rays' organization and the fifth Durham player to win the award in its 14 seasons as a Tampa Bay affiliate. Canzler joins previous winners Dan Johnson (2010), Kevin Witt ('06), Toby Hall ('01) and Steve Cox (1999).

The Hazleton, Pa., native signed with the Rays as a Minor League free agent on Nov. 19 and had not played above the Double-A level in his seven seasons in the Cubs' organization.

Canzler is hitting .312 with 18 home runs and 79 RBIs. He leads the International League with 40 doubles, 61 extra-base hits, 77 runs scored, 241 total bases, .533 slugging percentage and ranks third with a .399 on-base percentage. He has appeared in 125 games, spending time at third base, right field, left field, first base and designated hitter.

"[Canzler is] really is a solid young man and he's a good baseball player," Maddon said. "I'm very happy for him. ... Hopefully he'll get a chance to play in the big leagues at some point, too."