First baseman Beau Mills and left handed pitcher David Huff will take home their respective trophies as the top position player (Lou Boudreau Award) and pitcher (Bob Feller Award) within the Tribe’s minor league system. Mills, all of 22-years old, clubbed at a clip of .293 (OPS of .800) with 78 runs, 21 home runs and 90 RBI for Kinston. Huff went 11-5 with an ERA of 2.52 through 146 innings between Akron and (the home formerly known as) Buffalo.
I know that we touched on the top prospects earlier this week, and Baseball America gave the Tribe a bit of flack for not having their own draft picks prosper through the system. Mills was the Indians first round pick in 2007, and Huff went 39th overall in 2006 – so this is a good sign of something that will hopefully continue as a trend for this club.
Former winners of the Boudreau Award are Jim Thome (1990 and 1993), Manny Ramirez (1991), Victor Martinez (2001-02), and Grady Sizemore (2003). Those that took home the Bob Feller award back in their day are Charlie Nagy (1990), Fausto Carmona (2003), Adam Miller (2004, 2006) and Aaron Laffey (2007). So, needless to say, these two guys have some shoes to fill. There’s a good chance that we see the 24-year old Huff sooner than later. In regard to Mills, he definitely has some time to grow into a solid player given the first basemen that are currently within the Tribe’s farm system and big league team.
With the team recently announcing that their player development staff will remain in tact for the upcoming year (Travis Fryman!), it seems that they too are comfortable with what they have seen from their young guns thus far.