LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers today named right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart as the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year and infielder Edwin Rios as the Minor League Player of the Year.
Stewart, who will turn 25 on October 3, completed a meteoric rise from Single-A to the big leagues this season, becoming the first Dodger since Hideo Nomo in 1995 to begin the year in Single-A and start in a Major League game the same season. He posted a combined 9-3 record with a 1.68 ERA (22 ER/118.0 IP) in 20 starts among Triple-A Oklahoma City, Double-A Tulsa and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, while striking out a combined 126 batters against just 18 walks this year.
Stewart posted a 2-0 record with a 0.82 ERA (1 ER/11.0 IP) in two starts for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and was named California League Pitcher of the Week for the period ending April 17. He was then promoted to Double-A Tulsa on April 15, where he went 3-3 with a 1.12 ERA (7 ER/56.1 IP) in nine starts and limited the opposition to a .188 average. Stewart earned a selection as a Texas League All-Star, but did not participate in the game due to his promotion to Triple-A OKC on June 10. In nine starts for the OKC Dodgers, he went 4-0 with a 2.49 ERA (14 ER/50.2 IP) and held opponents to a .217 average, while striking out 54 batters against just six walks.
The Illinois native, who made his Major League debut with his first career start at Milwaukee on June 29, has appeared in four games (three starts) for Los Angeles this season, going 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA (15 ER/17.0 IP). Stewart was selected by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player draft out of Illinois State University, where he was primarily an infielder during his four-year collegiate career.
Rios combined to hit .303 with 68 runs, 25 doubles, two triples, 27 home runs and 75 RBI along with a .344 on-base percentage and a .576 slugging percentage in 103 games for Single-A Great Lakes, Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa this season.
The 22-year-old left-handed slugger opened the season with Single-A Great Lakes in his second professional season, where he hit .252 with 17 runs, eight doubles, a triple, six home runs and 13 RBI in 33 games for the Loons. He was promoted to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on June 4 and during his 42-game stint with the Quakes, he led the California League in batting average (.367), hits (65), home runs (16), RBI (46), extra-base hits (28), total bases (126) and OPS (1.105) from June 5-July 27. Rios was promoted to Double-A Tulsa on July 28, where hit .252 with 14 runs, six doubles, five home runs and 16 RBI in 29 games for the Drillers.
The Puerto Rico native was selected by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida International University.
Stewart and Rios will be honored in an on-field pregame ceremony on Saturday, September 24, prior to the 6:10 p.m. game against the Rockies.
Branch Rickey Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year: 1989-2016
Year Player of the Year Pitcher of the Year
1989 Mike Huff, Albuquerque (OF) Jim Poole, Vero Beach (LHP)
1990 Henry Rodriguez, San Antonio (OF) Jamie McAndrew, Bakersfield/San Antonio (RHP)
1991 Eric Karros, Albuquerque (IB) Pedro Martinez, San Antonio/Albuquerque (RHP)
1992 Mike Piazza, San Antonio/Albuquerque (C) Todd Williams, Bakersfield/San Antonio (RHP)
1993 Billy Ashley, Albuquerque (OF) Kip Gross, Albuquerque (RHP)
1994 Billy Ashley, Albuquerque (OF) Greg Hansell, Albuquerque (RHP)
1995 Adam Riggs, San Bernardino (IF) Gary Rath, San Antonio/Albuquerque (LHP)
1996 Paul Konerko, San Antonio/Albuquerque (IF) Billy Neal, Vero Beach (RHP)
1997 Paul Konerko, Albuquerque (IF) Dennys Reyes, San Antonio/Albuquerque (LHP)
1998 Angel Peña, San Antonio (C) Luke Prokopec, San Bernardino/San Antonio (RHP)
1999 Chin-Feng Chen, San Bernardino (OF) Eric Gagné , San Antonio (RHP)
2000 Joe Thurston, San Bernardino (IF) Carlos Garcia, San Bernardino (RHP)
2001 Phil Hiatt, Las Vegas (IF) Ricardo Rodriguez, Vero Beach (LHP)
2002 Joe Thurston, Las Vegas (IF) Edwin Jackson, South Georgia (RHP)
2003 Franklin Gutierrez, VB/Jacksonville (OF) Greg Miller, Vero Beach/Jacksonville (LHP)
2004 Joel Guzman, Vero Beach/Jacksonville (OF) Chad Billingsley, Vero Beach/Jacksonville (RHP)
2005 Andy LaRoche, Vero Beach/Jacksonville (IF) Chad Billingsley, Jacksonville (RHP)
2006 James Loney, Las Vegas (1B) Mark Alexander, Jacksonville/Las Vegas (RHP)
2007 Chin-lung Hu, Jacksonville/Las Vegas (IF) James McDonald, Inland Empire/Jacksonville (RHP)
2008 Ivan De Jesus, Jr., Jacksonville (IF) James McDonald, Jacksonville/Los Angeles (RHP)
2009 Dee Gordon, Great Lakes (IF) Scott Elbert, Chattanooga/Albuquerque/Los Angeles (LHP)
2010 Jerry Sands, Great Lakes/Chattanooga (IF/OF) Rubby De La Rosa, Great Lakes/Chattanooga (RHP)
2011 Scott Van Slyke, Chattanooga (IF/OF) Shawn Tolleson, Great Lakes/Rancho/Chattanooga (RHP)
2012 Joc Pederson, Rancho Cucamonga (OF) John Ely, Albuquerque (RHP)
2013 Scott Schebler, Rancho Cucamonga (OF) Zach Lee, Chattanooga (RHP)
2014 Joc Pederson, Albuquerque (OF) Julio Urias, Rancho Cucamonga (LHP)
Corey Seager, Rancho Cucamonga/Chattanooga (IF)
2015 Alex Verdugo, Great Lakes/Rancho Cucamonga (OF) Zach Lee, Oklahoma City (RHP)
2016 Edwin Rios, Great Lakes/Rancho Cucamonga/Tulsa (IF) Brock Stewart, Rancho Cucamonga/Tulsa/Oklahoma City/
Los Angeles (RHP)