LOS ANGELES -- Edwin Rios, named the Dodgers Branch Rickey Minor League position player of the year, won that award over a group of better-known farmhands like Cody Bellinger, Alex Verdugo and Willie Calhoun.
Rios, taken in the sixth round of last year's Draft, said gaining notice -- he's ranked the 26th-best prospect in the organization by MLBPipeline.com -- is part of his motivation.
"Those guys are great players," said Rios. "To be considered among the top players in the organization, just having your name talked the way their names are being talked, is an honor.
"I always play with a chip on the shoulder and try to show them you're just as good. Every time on the field, I try to show the Dodgers, the scouts, why I'm here."
Racing through three levels of the system this year to finish at Double-A, Rios slugged 27 home runs with 76 RBIs and a .301 average in only 108 games. He's 22, 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, a left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing first baseman out of Florida International.
He said he didn't know where he would begin the 2017 season. He would repeat his workout routine of last winter, training in Orlando with big leaguers Carlos Gonzalez, Martin Prado and Miguel Rojas.
The franchise's Minor League pitcher of the year was current Dodger Brock Stewart, who began the season at Class A.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.