CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Indians today announced the club’s Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year Awards. RHP CHEN-CHANG LEE has been named the 2011 Bob Feller Award recipient while INF JASON KIPNIS has been given the 2011 Lou Boudreau Award.
Lee, 25, was outstanding between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus in 2011, going a combined 6-1 with a save and 2.40 ERA in 44 relief appearances (71.1IP, 53H, 19ER, 23BB, 99SO). He averaged 12.5 strikeouts per 9.0IP and limited Minor League hitters to a .210 (53-252) average against with 3HR allowed. On the season right-handed batters hit .197 (28-142) off him with just 4 extra base hits. After beginning the season in Akron (2.50ERA, 23 games), he was promoted to Columbus on June 22 where he finished the year by going 4-0 w/a 2.27 ERA in 21 games (31.2IP, 26H, 8ER, 43SO) and recorded an ERA of 1.29 in 4 Triple- A playoff appearances (7.0IP, 3H, 1R/ER, 4BB, 7SO).
Lee hails from the island nation of Taiwan and was signed as an amateur by the Indians in September of 2008. He owns a three-year Minor League career record of 15-11 w/a 3.01 ERA in 133 relief appearances (227.1IP, 179H, 76ER, 14HR, 73BB, 278SO), averaging 11.0 strikeouts per 9.0IP over the span. He pitched for the Taiwanese National Team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Kipnis, who also won the award in 2010, spent the first three and half months of the 2011 season at Triple-A Columbus, hitting .280 (96-343) with 16 doubles, 9 triples, 55RBI in 92 games. He also scored 65 runs and stole 12 bases in 13 attempts. At this time of his July 22 promotion to Cleveland he was leading the International League in triples (9), was 2nd in runs (65), tied for 12th in hits (92) and RBI (55) and was 16th in OPS (.846). He homered in the July 10 XM Futures Game, hit lead-off in the Triple-A All-Star Game and was named to the IL Postseason All-Star Team and was a Baseball America Triple-A All-Star selection.
The 2009 second round pick out of Arizona State University went on to hit .272 (37-136) with Cleveland over the final two months of the season with 9 doubles, 1 triple, 7HR & 19RBI in 36 games (.841OPS). He and VICTOR MARTINEZ are the only Indians position players to win the award in consecutive seasons (award began in 1990).
BOB FELLER WINNERS
1990 Charles Nagy 1991 Mike Soper
1992 Chad Ogea 1993 John Carter
1994 Steve Kline 1995 Danny Graves
1996 Danny Graves 1997 Marc Deschenes
1998 David Riske 1999 Robert Pugmire
2000 Jason Stanford 2001 Mike Bacsik
2002 Billy Traber 2003 Fausto Carmona
2004 Adam Miller 2005 Jeremy Sowers
2006 Adam Miller 2007 Aaron Laffey
2008 David Huff 2009 Hector Rondon
2010 Alex White 2011 Chen-Chang Lee
LOU BOUDREAU WINNERS
1990 Jim Thome 1991 Manny Ramirez
1992 Ken Ramos 1993 Jim Thome
1994 David Bell 1995 Richie Sexson
1996 Russ Branyan 1997 Sean Casey
1998 Alex Ramirez 1999 Scott Morgan
2000 Billy Munoz 2001 Victor Martinez
2002 Victor Martinez 2003 Grady Sizemore
2004 Ryan Garko 2005 Ryan Mulhern
2006 Kevin Kouzmanoff 2007 Asdrubal Cabrera
2008 Beau Mills 2009 Carlos Santana
2010 Jason Kipnis 2011 Jason Kipnis