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Red Sox announce minor-league award winners 09.29.09 at 3:28 pm ET
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The Boston Red Sox today announced the winners of the organization’s 2009 Minor League Awards. The recipients will be honored during a pre-game, on-field ceremony tonight as the Red Sox continue their series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 2009 Minor League Award recipients as selected by the Red Sox baseball operations department and minor league roving instructors:

Pitcher of the Year: RHP Casey Kelly, Single-A Greenville/Single-A Salem: Combined to go 7-5 with a 2.08 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 95.0 innings over 17 starts at Greenville and Salem in his first professional pitching experience at 19 years old…Went 6-1, 1.12 ERA in 48.1 innings over nine starts at Greenville, where he was named a starter in the South Atlantic League All-Star game…Went 1-4, 3.09 mark in 46.2 innings over eight starts with Salem…Named Boston’s April Minor League Pitcher of the Month, going 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in four starts that month…Was twice named Carolina League Player of the Week with Salem, June 1-7 and June 22-28…Also combined to hit .222 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI in 40 games as a shortstop between the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Greenville and will participate in the Arizona Fall League at that position…Was the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Offensive Player of the Year: OF Ryan Kalish, Single-A Salem/Double-A Portland: Batted .279 with 84 runs, 24 doubles, 18 homers, and 77 RBI in 135 games between Salem and Portland…As a 21 year old, had a .304 average with five homers and 21 RBI in 32 games with the Salem Red Sox and a .271 mark with 13 homers and 56 RBI in 103 games with the Sea Dogs…Led Red Sox minor leaguers with 68 walks and finished second in homers and fourth in RBI among that group…Successful in seven of eight stolen base attempts in April, earning Red Sox Base Runner of the Month honors, and finished with 21 stolen bases in 27 attempts…Will participate in the Arizona Fall League…Was Boston’s ninth-round selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Defensive Player of the Year: INF Ryan Dent, Single-A Greenville/Single-A Salem: Posted a .971 fielding percentage in 512 total chances over 112 games split between second base (65 games) and shortstop (47 games) for Greenville and Salem at 20 years old…Combined to bat .254 with six homers and 51 RBI…Did not make an error in 12 April games and earned the organization’s Defensive Player of the Month award…Named the club’s Base Runner of the Month for June after legging out four doubles and two triples while stealing four bags with the Drive…Selected by Boston in the supplemental round (62nd overall) in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Base Runner of the Year: INF Derrik Gibson, Short-A Lowell: Ranked second in the Red Sox organization with 28 stolen bases and led the New York-Penn League with a Lowell franchise-record 54 runs scored in his first full minor league season…As a 19 year old, was caught stealing just five times for an 84.8 percent success rate…Hit .290 with 15 doubles, four triples and 25 RBI…Reached safely in each of his first 12 games of the year and ranked second in the league with a .471 average in June to earn the organization’s Player of the Month award…Led the Spinners with 39 walks, sixth in the league…Selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Minor League Latin Program Pitcher of the Year: RHP Juan Rodriguez, Rookie-Level DSL Red Sox: Was 3-1 with one save, a 1.55 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 63.2 innings over 15 games (12 starts)…The 20 year old led the team in strikeouts and led club qualifiers in ERA…Limited opponents to two runs or less in all but one of his outings and did not allow more than three runs all season.

Minor League Latin Program Player of the Year: OF Keury De La Cruz, Rookie-Level DSL Red Sox: Hit .259 with 16 doubles, four triples, three homers, 50 RBI, 31 runs and 42 walks in 67 games for the DSL Red Sox at 17 years old…Led the team in doubles and extra-base hits.

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No Batting Practice for Kelly in Futures Game 07.12.09 at 2:43 pm ET
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ST. LOUIS — Casey Kelly is unique.

The Red Sox’ 2008 draft pick has been dominant for three months as a pitcher at two minor-league stops, forging a 7-5 record and 2.08 ERA with Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem. But since June, he has been taking batting practice and occasional grounders at shortstop in preparation for a second half in which he will be a shortstop (and designated hitter to give his arm some rest).

Since his naming to the Futures Game was as a pitcher, Kelly was not able to work out with the position players and take batting practice.

“I wish,” he said of taking B.P.

That, however, is just about his only regret of his season to date.

“All the pitchers, I think, hate me, because I get to take B.P. and I get to take groundballs. I think every pitcher in baseball would love to do that. When I do it twice a week, I love it,” said Kelly. “I think it’s amazing that I get to play two positions in one season. I don’t think a lot of guys get to do that in their careers. It’s kind of unbelievable to me. It’s a whole lot of fun. It’s kind of crazy, and at times you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ But I wouldn’t want to have the season any other way. To pack two seasons into one with the pitching and shortstop, it’s incredible.”

Today (assuming the game is resumed – it is currently pouring in St. Louis) will represent Kelly’s last day as a pitcher in 2009. He will head to Fort Myers after the game where he will prepare for an assignment as a shortstop. Though he moved up to High-A Salem of the Carolina League as a pitcher, Kelly recognizes that he may end up moving backwards for his season as a position player.

“I should have left my stuff in Greenville,” he joked.

After he plays through the rest of the minor-league season at short, Kelly will continue this year as a position player in fall instructional league. If the team wants to get him more at-bats, Winter League assignment (perhaps in Hawaii) could be a possibility.

For now, however, Kelly has one hope for today’s Futures Game in St. Louis.

“I definitely hope to show everyone that I’m a pretty good pitcher,” he said.

Thus far, he’s accomplished that, in somewhat extraordinary fashion.

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