The Tampa Bay Rays today named RHP Chris Archer Minor League Pitcher of the Year and OF Todd Glaesmann Minor League Player of the Year. The Rays also announced one Most Valuable Player for each of their nine affiliates, as well as organization-wide awards for Best Baserunner, Best Defensive Player and Best Relief Pitcher.
This year's winners will be honored during an awards ceremony prior to tonight's game against the Boston Red Sox. A pregame autograph session will be held on the right field line from 5:45-6:30 p.m. tonight featuring many of the organization's award winners.
The following players were named Most Valuable Player for their respective minor league teams: 1B Leslie Anderson (Durham Bulls, AAA); RHP Alex Colome (Montgomery Biscuits, AA); SS Derek Dietrich (Charlotte Stone Crabs, A); OF Drew Vettleson (Bowling Green Hot Rods, A); RHP Jeff Ames (Hudson Valley Renegades, SS-A); LHP Blake Snell (Princeton Rays, Rookie); INF Ben Kline (Gulf Coast League Rays); 3B Alexander Simon (Dominican Summer League Rays); and OF Jose Paez (Venezuelan Summer League Rays).
OF Kevin Kiermaier was named Best Defensive Player, while SS Hak-Ju Lee was named the organization's Best Baserunner and RHP Chris Rearick was named Best Relief Pitcher.
Archer, 24, was named Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Year after posting a 3.66 ERA (128-IP, 52-ER) in 25 starts for Triple-A Durham. He led the International League and all Rays farmhands with 139 strikeouts. Acquired as part of the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Chicago Cubs, Archer has compiled a 3.89 ERA (275.1-IP, 119-ER) with 269 strikeouts over two seasons in the Rays farm system. He has served two stints in the majors this year, pitching a 3.22 ERA (22.1-IP, 8-ER) with 28 strikeouts in four appearances (three starts). He is currently on the active roster and is scheduled to start tonight against Boston.
Glaesmann, 21, led all Rays farmhands with 21 home runs in 127 games between Bowling Green and Charlotte. The third round pick in the 2009 June Draft entered the season with only eight homers over his previous three seasons combined. He hit .293 (77-for-263) from May to July and ranked tied for second with 165 total bases and tied for 3rd with 13 home runs in the Midwest League before being promoted on July 24. After injuries limited his 2011 season, Glaesmann combined between two levels to hit .285 with 21 HR and 75 RBI in 2012.
Lee, 21, was named Best Baserunner after recording 37 stolen bases, fourth most in the Southern League. He set team records for Montgomery this season by hitting in 21 straight games and reaching base safely in 46 in a row, surpassing the previous mark of 37 set by Evan Longoria in 2007. During the 46-game on-base streak, Lee hit .308 (60-for-195) with a .387 on-base percentage. In his second year in the Rays organization, the Korean shortstop hit .261 with 29 extra-base hits and 37 RBI.
Kiermaier, 22, was named Best Defensive Player in the organization after recording four assists as the center fielder for Charlotte. He spent most of the season with the Stone Crabs before joining Durham on the final weekend of the regular season and then Montgomery for the Southern League playoffs.
Rearick, 24, was named Best Reliever for the second consecutive year after totaling 22 saves and a 2.70 ERA at two levels this year. The lefty finished fourth in the Florida State League in both saves (20) and games finished (34) despite being promoted from Charlotte to Montgomery on July 22. In 34 games for the Stone Crabs, the midseason All-Star converted 20 of 22 save opportunities and pitched to a 1.79 ERA (45.1-IP, 9-ER) with 59 strikeouts.
Anderson, 30, had the best year of his professional career, recording career highs in hits (137), doubles (21) and runs scored (63), and leading Durham's offense in several categories including home runs (14) and RBI (56). The left-handed-hitting first baseman also finished third in the International League with a .309 (137-for-444) batting average.
Colome, 23, went 8-4 with a 3.44 ERA (91.2-IP, 35-ER) in 17 starts at Double-A and Triple-A. He began the year at Montgomery and was transferred to Durham on August 2. In his last five starts before his promotion, he went 5-0 with a 1.27 ERA (35.1-IP, 5-ER) with the Biscuits.
Dietrich, 23, hit .282 (105-for-372) with a team-leading 10 homers, 9 triples, 21 doubles and 58 RBI for Charlotte. A midseason Florida State League All-Star, Dietrich was promoted from Charlotte to Montgomery on July 28 and finished the year ranked second among Rays farmhands with 75 RBI between the two levels.
Vettleson, 21, finished in the top five among Rays minor leaguers in both home runs (15) and RBI (69). The No. 42 overall pick in the 2010 June Draft finished his season at Bowling Green with a franchise-record 139 hits, surpassing the previous mark of 135 set by Tim Beckham in 2009. Vettleson, a postseason All-Star, ranked second in the Midwest League in total bases (218) and finished the season with a .275 (139-for-505) batting average and 44 extra-base hits.
Ames, 21, went 6-1 with a 1.96 ERA (64.1-IP, 14-ER), the third-lowest mark in the New York-Penn League and lowest among Rays farmhands. The 21-year-old ranked fourth in the league with a .195 opponents' batting average (43-for-216) and fourth with 70 strikeouts.
Snell, 19, went 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA (47.1-IP, 11-ER) in 11 starts for Princeton. Had he not fallen 7.1 innings shy of qualifying, he would have ranked first in ERA in the Appalachian League. The No. 52 overall pick in the 2011 June Draft now has a combined 2.44 ERA in two years with the Rays organization.
Kline, 23, was named a Gulf Coast League All-Star after hitting .347 (43-for-124) with 16 RBI in 36 games. The Rays 32nd round pick in the 2012 June Draft played all over the diamond, including at least seven games at every infield position and five games in the outfield. Including nine games with Bowling Green, Kline combined to hit .333, best among Rays farmhands.
Simon, 19, hit .328 (81-for-247) with five home runs and a team-high 46 RBI and 124 total bases, which ranked tied for second in the Dominican Summer League. The switch-hitter also led the team with a .408 on-base percentage and .502 slugging percentage.
Paez, 19, ranked second in the Venezuelan Summer League with a .364 (91-for-250) batting average, .430 on-base percentage, .536 slugging percentage and 134 total bases. He led the league in triples (9), ranked second in hits (91), third in extra-base hits (26) and fourth in runs scored (41).