Rangers Announce 2014 Minor League Award Recipients

JOEY GALLO, CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ, HANSER ALBERTO, AND PHIL KLEIN WIN RANGERS 2014 MINOR LEAGUE AWARDS

Aaron Levin and Roger Coryell to also be honored at 2015 Dr Pepper Awards Dinner on Friday, January 23

Arlington, Texas-The Texas Rangers today announced the winners of the team's 2014 Minor League Awards:

Tom Grieve Player of the Year-Joey Gallo, Myrtle Beach Pelicans/Frisco RoughRiders

Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year-Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez, Myrtle Beach Pelicans/Frisco RoughRiders

Defender of the Year-Hanser Alberto, Myrtle Beach Pelicans/Frisco RoughRiders

Reliever of the Year-Phil Klein, Frisco RoughRiders/Round Rock Express

In addition, the team announced that Dominican Rangers Manager Aaron Levin is the recipient of the 2014 Bobby Jones Player Development Man of the Year, and Michigan/Ohio Area Scout Roger Coryell will receive the 2014 Don Welke Scout of the Year Award.

The awards will be presented at the 2015 Dr Pepper Awards Dinner on Friday, January 23 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.   Tickets for the dinner, which will honor a number of baseball personalities and feature appearances by Texas Rangers past and present, can be purchased at www.texasrangers.com/awards.

Other 2014 team award winners to be honored will include Adrian Beltre, Player of the Year; Yu Darvish, Pitcher of the Year; Rougned Odor, Rookie of the Year; Matt Harrison, Harold McKinney Good Guy Award and Robinson Chirinos, Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man. Additional award winners will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Proceeds from the 2015 Dr Pepper Awards Dinner benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

Gallo, 21, established a new Texas minor league single-season home run record in 2014, batting .271 (119-439) with 42 home runs and 106 RBI in 126 games with Myrtle Beach and Frisco. He fell one home run shy of the overall minor league lead, but produced the first back-to-back 40 home run seasons by a minor league player since Ron Kittle (1981-82). The Las Vegas native was selected in the supplemental first round (39th overall) of the 2012 June Draft and signed by Todd Guggiana.

Gonzalez, who turns 23 on January 15, compiled the lowest ERA among Texas farmhands and tied for the organizational lead in wins. The right-hander combined to go 12-6 with a 2.66 ERA (41 ER/138.2 IP) and 113 strikeouts over 26 games/25 starts with Myrtle Beach and Frisco. The Oral Roberts product was selected in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2013 June Draft and signed by Jay Eddings.   

Alberto, 22, was also recognized for his defensive prowess with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the top defensive shortstop in the minor leagues. He split the season between Myrtle Beach and Frisco, batting .273 (120-440) and committing just 11 errors in 547 total chances. The Dominican native was signed as a non-drafted free agent on November 23, 2009 by Rodolfo Rosario, Willy Espinal, and Mike Daly.

Klein, 25, combined to go 3-0 with a 0.52 ERA (3 ER/51.2 IP) and 10 saves over 33 relief appearances with Frisco and Round Rock prior to his major league debut in August. The Ohio native compiled a 35.0-inning scoreless streak over his final 22 relief appearances at the minor league level and went 1-2 with a 2.84 ERA (6 ER/19.0 IP) over 17 relief outings in his first major league action. The Youngstown State product was selected in the 30th round of the 2011 June Draft and was signed by Roger Coryell.

Levin led the Dominican Summer League Rangers to their second consecutive DSL title in his first season at the helm. Levin also received DSL Manager of the Year honors after guiding the Rangers to the best record in the 36-team summer league. He spent one season as a coach on the DSL staff prior to taking the managerial reins in 2014.

Coryell has been the club's area scout in Ohio and Michigan since 2010. In 2011, Coryell signed both Ryan Rua and Phil

Klein, who each made their major league debuts in 2014. Prior to joining the Rangers, Coryell was the head coach at Eastern Michigan University, earning Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors twice.

Other 2014 team award winners to be honored will include Adrian Beltre, Player of the Year; Yu Darvish, Pitcher of the Year; Rougned Odor, Rookie of the Year; Matt Harrison, Harold McKinney Good Guy Award; Robinson Chirinos, Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man; and Elvis Andrus, Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award. Additional award winners will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Proceeds from the 2015 Dr Pepper Awards Dinner benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

RANGERS SIGN FREE AGENTS MIKE McDADE AND MASON TOBIN TO 2015 MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACTS

The Rangers have signed first baseman Mike McDade and right-handed pitcher Mason Tobin to minor league contracts, and both players will be in minor league camp this spring.

McDade, 25, has never played in the major leagues and owns a career .261 average over 8 professional seasons in the Toronto (2007-12, 2014), Cleveland (2013), and Chicago-AL (2013) organizations. The switch-hitter was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 6th round of the 2007 June draft out of Silverado High School in Las Vegas, and has spent the last 4 seasons at either Double-A or Triple-A. The first baseman combined to hit .242 (72-298) with 7 HR and 36 RBI for New Hampshire (AA) and Buffalo (AAA) in the Jays' system last year.

Tobin, 27, returns to the Texas organization, where he saw his only big league action in April 2011 before having a second Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow that June. He allowed 5 runs (4 earned) over 4 games and 5.1 innings during his lone major league stint after being selected from the Los Angeles Angels in the 2010 Major League Rule 5 Draft. Since returning from surgery, he has pitched with Triple-A Fresno in the Giants system the past 2 seasons, including a 1-2 mark with a 4.24 ERA (16 ER/34.0 IP) over 27 relief outings in 2014. 

Winter Ball Update

Australian Baseball League

Kellin Deglan has been named the Australian Baseball League Player of the Week after batting .500 (7-14) with 5 home runs and 8 RBI over the weekend with the Melbourne Aces…he also established the Australian Baseball League single-season home run record with his 16th home run on January 3 vs. Perth…the weekly honor is the 2nd for Deglan this winter…RHP Cody Buckel is 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA (14 ER/37.0 IP) and 30 strikeouts over 9 games/5 starts with Melbourne…the right-hander has held opponents to a .189 average (25-132).

Dominican Winter League

LHP Edwar Cabrera has made a pair of postseason starts for Este, going 0-1 with a 0.84 ERA (1 ER/10.2 IP) and 12 strikeouts…RHP Roman Mendez has tossed 2.0 scoreless innings over a pair of postseason appearances with Este…INF Hanser Alberto has appeared in 5 postseason games for Cibao….RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo threw a scoreless inning of relief for Aguilas last night and has a 3.38 ERA (1 ER/2.2 IP) with 3 strikeouts over 3 playoff appearances…Oviedo tossed 3.0 scoreless innings of relief in the regular season.