The Boston Red Sox today announced the winners of the organization's 2017 Minor League Awards:
· Offensive Player of the Year: 3B Michael Chavis
· Pitcher of the Year: LHP Jalen Beeks
· Defensive Player of the Year: C Austin Rei
· Baserunner of the Year: OF Tate Matheny
· Latin Program Player of the Year: 1B/OF Keibert Petit
· Latin Program Pitcher of the Year: RHP Luis Rivero
Additionally, left-handed pitcher Brian Johnson has been recognized as the 2017 recipient of the Lou Gorman Award. Created in 2011, the award is given annually to a Red Sox minor league player who has demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the major league team.
The 2017 Minor League Awards are selected by the Red Sox baseball operations department and minor league roving instructors. The recipients will be honored during a pre-game, on-field ceremony at Fenway Park tomorrow prior to Boston's 1:05 p.m. game against the Houston Astros.
Chavis, 22, tied for fifth among all minor leaguers with 31 home runs between High-A Salem (59 games) and Double-A Portland (67 games), also ranking third with 68 extra-base hits and 11th with 94 RBI. The right-handed hitter finished sixth among qualifying Red Sox minor leaguers with a .282 batting average (133-for-471), including a .318 mark (71-for-223) with a team-leading 17 home runs and a 1.029 OPS in his time with Salem. Chavis was named Carolina League Player of the Month and Red Sox Minor League Hitter of the Month for May and was selected to the league's All-Star Game in June, earning the game's Most Valuable Player honors. Ranked the Red Sox' No. 3 prospect byBaseball America, he has played four minor league seasons since being selected in the first round of the 2014 June Draft (26th overall), batting .251 (338-for-1,344) with 87 doubles, 56 home runs, 204 RBI, and 201 runs scored in 355 games.
Beeks, 24, finished fifth among qualifying Red Sox minor league pitchers with a career-low 3.29 ERA (53 ER/145.0 IP) and second with a career-high 155 strikeouts in 26 starts between Portland (nine starts) and Triple-A Pawtucket (17 starts). Named Red Sox Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month in both April and July, the left-hander went 5-1 with a 2.19 ERA (12 ER/49.1 IP) and a .199 opponent batting average in his nine Sea Dogs outings, holding his opponents scoreless in five of his first six starts. He recorded a 25.0-inning scoreless streak from April 22 through May 18, the second-longest in Portland franchise history. After joining the PawSox on June 3, Beeks finished second on the team with 97 strikeouts in 95.2 innings. Originally selected by Boston in the 12th round of the 2014 June Draft, the Arkansas native is 29-23 in 80 career appearances (78 starts), posting a 3.78 ERA (180 ER/428.1 IP) with 374 strikeouts against 135 walks.
Rei, 23, played a career-high 88 games (87 starts) at catcher this season, posting a .988 fielding percentage (10 errors/824 total chances) and throwing out 40 of 99 attempted base stealers (40.4%). He finished in a tie for the Carolina League lead in games caught, while he was one of only two qualifying catchers in the league to throw out at least 40 percent of attempted base stealers. At the plate, the right-handed hitter ranked sixth in the league with a career-best 30 doubles, also setting career highs with 71 hits and 38 RBI while batting .223 (71-for-319). In 200 games (197 starts) at catcher over three minor league seasons, Rei has thrown out 80 of 213 attempted base stealers (37.6%) while posting a .989 fielding percentage (20 errors/1,806 total chances). A third-round selection in the 2015 June Draft, the California native has totaled 220 career games, batting .212 (157-for-742) with 105 runs, 48 doubles, 11 home runs, and 83 RBI.
Matheny, 23, finished second among Red Sox farmhands and sixth in the Carolina League with a career-high 27 stolen bases in 34 attempts (79.4%) over a team-high 114 games with Salem. From May 1 through July 29, the third-year minor leaguer was successful in 19 of 21 steal attempts (90.5%). In his first year with Salem, Matheny tied a career high with 114 hits and set career marks with 26 doubles, seven home runs, 78 runs scored, and a team-leading seven triples, third-most in the Carolina League. He played all 114 of his games in center field, making 113 starts and leading the team with 13 assists from the outfield. Selected in the fourth round of the 2015 June Draft, the Missouri native has played 271 career minor league games, batting .255 (263-for-1,033) with 161 runs, 53 doubles, 11 triples, 12 home runs, 118 RBI, and 54 stolen bases.
Petit, 19, led Boston's Dominican Summer League affiliate with 61 hits, 33 RBI, and 16 stolen bases in a team-high 67 games played, also tying for the team lead with his first two career home runs and ranking second on the club with 34 runs scored and 11 doubles. A native of Valencia, Venezuela, he posted a career-best .270 batting average (61-for-226), including a .297 mark (38-for-128) in his last 40 games. He split time defensively between first base-where he posted a .989 fielding percentage in 34 games (31 starts)-and the outfield, where he committed just one error in 29 games in left (20 games) and right field (10 games). Since signing with the Red Sox in March 2015, Petit has played 125 games over three minor league seasons, batting .241 (98-for-406) with 60 runs, 16 doubles, two home runs, 44 RBI, and 23 stolen bases.
Rivero, 19, finished his third professional season leading the Dominican Summer League Red Sox with a league-high 10 wins and five saves in 17 relief appearances, posting a 1.06 ERA (4 ER/34.0 IP), a 0.77 WHIP, and 34 strikeouts against nine walks. After allowing four earned runs in his first three outings, the Venezuelan right-hander held opponents scoreless in his final 14 games from June 15 through the end of the season, limiting opponents to a .110 average (9-for-82) with a .196 on-base percentage and a .122 slugging percentage in 27.0 innings. He threw 2.0 innings or more in 11 of his 17 appearances, including five wins in relief efforts of 3.0 frames or more. In three seasons since joining the organization in 2015, Rivero is 15-4 with six saves, a 1.78 ERA (21 ER/106.1 IP), a 0.97 WHIP, 91 strikeouts, and 30 walks.
Johnson, 26, saw his first major league action since debuting in 2015, going 2-0 with a 4.33 ERA (13 ER/27.0 IP) in five starts, all Red Sox wins. The left-hander has battled injuries in each of the last three seasons, also spending time on Pawtucket's disabled list while seeking treatment for anxiety last summer. His 2017 season debut with the PawSox was cut short when he was struck in the head with a line drive, the second such incident of his career. Ten days later, the Florida native made his first major league start of the year. On May 27 against Seattle, he allowed five hits without a walk in 9.0 scoreless innings, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez to record a nine-inning shutout in his Fenway Park debut. A supplemental-round selection (31st overall) in the 2012 June Draft, Johnson is 2-1 with a 4.88 ERA (17 ER/31.1 IP) in six career major league starts. In 103 career minor league outings, he is 32-26 with a 3.18 ERA (155 ER/518.1 IP) and 458 strikeouts.