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Kepler, Berrios Twins' top Minor Leaguers

MINNEAPOLIS -- Top prospects Max Kepler and Jose Berrios were honored Wednesday for their impressive seasons, as Kepler was named the Twins' Minor League Player of the Year, while Berrios was named the Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

It's been a big week for Kepler, who helped lead Double-A Chattanooga to the Southern League championship Monday and was promoted to the Majors for the first time in his career after the game. Kepler, 22, took home the Southern League Most Valuable Player Award after hitting .322/.416/.531 with nine homers, 32 doubles, 13 triples and 18 stolen bases in 112 regular-season games with Chattanooga.

Kepler, who ranks as the No. 6 prospect in the Twins' system and No. 99 in the game by, is considered the highest-profile prospect to be signed out of Europe in baseball history. He was signed as an amateur free agent in 2009 out of Berlin, Germany, for a then-record $800,000.

Berrios, 21, had a dominant season between Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Chattanooga, posting a combined 2.90 ERA with a Minor League-leading 175 strikeouts. The right-hander threw a combined 166 1/3 innings and was shut down after the season, as he reached his innings limit.

Berrios is one of baseball's top pitching prospects, as he's ranked by as the No. 21 overall prospect and is Minnesota's No. 2 prospect. Berrios, a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, was originally selected by the Twins as the No. 32 overall pick in the 2012 Draft.

Kepler and Berrios, along with the other Twins 2015 award winners, will be recognized at the 11th annual Diamond Awards dinner, which will be held Jan. 28 at Target Field. Kepler will receive the Sherry Robertson Award, while Berrios will be given the Jim Rantz Award.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.
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