Gillaspie, Pruitt Take Home Rays’ Minor League Honors
On Friday afternoon the Tampa Bay Rays announced their 2016 Minor League award winners, with 1B Casey Gillaspie taking home Player of the Year honors, and RHP Brent Honeywell earning the Pitcher of the Year award. The Rays named RHP Austin Pruitt Durham’s MVP.
Gillaspie had a strong 2016 campaign, split between Double-A Montgomery and the Bulls. The 23-year-old first baseman combined to hit .284 with 18 homers and 64 RBI in just his second full season of professional baseball. The 20th overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Wichita St. was promoted to the Bulls in mid-July and went on to star for the team over the season’s final month and a half, hitting .307 with seven home runs and 23 RBI in 47 games. Over that span the switch-hitter posted a .389 on-base percentage, while his 22 extra-base hits were the third-most in the IL.
In his first season at the Triple-A level, Pruitt earned MVP honors after going 8-11 with a 3.76 ERA. The 27-year-old tied for first in the IL with 28 starts, ranked second with 149 strikeouts and fourth in innings pitched (162.2) and WHIP (1.19). The University of Houston product represented the Bulls at the Triple-A All-Star Game, and became the first Durham pitcher to earn the win in that contest after tossing a scoreless fifth inning.
Full List of Rays 2016 Minor League Awards Winners
Player of the Year – 1B Casey Gillaspie
Pitcher of the Year – RHP Brent Honeywell
Durham Bulls MVP – RHP Austin Pruitt
Montgomery Biscuits MVP – 1B/OF Jake Bauers
Charlotte Stone Crabs MVP – RHP Greg Harris
Bowling Green Hot Rods MVP – INF Michael Russell
Hudson Valley Renegades MVP – LHP Travis Ott
Princeton Rays MVP – OF Eleardo Cabrera
GCL Rays – OF Jesus Sanchez
Baserunner of the Year – OF Jake Fraley
Reliever of the Year – RHP Joe Serrapica
Defensive Player of the Year – C Nick Ciuffo