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Rivera earns Fall League's Stenson Award

Brewers prospect recognized for unselfishness, hard work and leadership

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Yadiel Rivera of the Brewers had quite the Saturday. In addition to leading off and starting at shortstop for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League championship game, which the Scottsdale Scorpions won, 6-4, Rivera was named the winner of the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award prior to the title game.

The Fall League established the Stenson Award in 2004 in memory of Dernell Stenson, a former Arizona Fall League player who was killed in Arizona in '03 while playing in the Fall League.

Each year, managers and coaching staff from the six Fall League teams nominate one player for the award, which is presented annually to the player who best exemplifies unselfishness, hard work and leadership.

Tweet from @MLBazFallLeague: Surprise's Yadiel Rivera (@Brewers) accepts the #AFL15 Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award prior to the Champ Game.

Rivera said it was an honor to receive the award.

"It's something special," Rivera said. "I always put on my uniform and try to have fun and enjoy every moment I'm on the field and be a good teammate."

A ninth-round Draft pick by Milwaukee in 2010, the Puerto Rico native made his Major League debut with the Brewers in September and excelled in the Fall League. Through 21 games, Rivera posted a batting average of .315 with 31 total bases.

As the 12th winner of the award, Rivera, the Brewers' No. 18 prospect, marks the fourth Surprise player to be named a Stenson Award winner. Rivera is the first Brewers player to win the award.

"I'm gonna take it home and put it on the wall and remember the Fall League every time I see that award," Rivera said.

Other nominees for the 2015 Stenson Award were Glendale first baseman Nicky Delmonico (White Sox), Salt River right-hander Carlos Esteves (Rockies), Mesa right-hander Pierce Johnson (Cubs), Scottsdale right-hander Montreal Robertson (Tigers) and Peoria catcher Chad Wallach (Reds).

Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award Winners
2015 - Yadiel Rivera (Brewers), SS, Surprise Saguaros
2014 - Patrick Kivlehan (Mariners), 3B, Surprise Saguaros
2013 - Garin Cecchini (Red Sox), 3B, Surprise Saguaros
2012 - Cole Kimball (Nationals), RHP, Salt River Rafters
2011 - Kevin Mattison (Marlins), OF, Surprise Saguaros
2010 - Steve Lombardozzi (Nationals), IF, Scottsdale Scorpions
2009 - Russ Mitchell (Dodgers), 1B, Peoria Javelinas
2008 - Jason Donald (Phillies), IF, Mesa Solar Sox
2007 - Sam Fuld (Cubs), OF, Mesa Solar Sox
2006 - Kevin Frandsen (Giants), IF, Scottsdale Scorpions
2005 - Andre Ethier (Athletics), OF, Phoenix Desert Dogs
2004 - Mark Teahen (Royals), 3B, Phoenix Desert Dogs

Ginger Poulson is is a journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Read More: Milwaukee Brewers, Yadiel Rivera