Peraza, Hursh receive top Minor League honors

Peraza, Hursh receive top Minor League honors

ATLANTA -- As the Braves offense proved troublesome throughout this summer, some ambitious fans were calling for Jose Peraza to make the jump to the Majors despite the fact that he began this season with Class A Advanced Lynchburg. Though that never happened, Peraza was at Turner Field on Saturday proudly standing as the organization's Minor League Player of the Year.

"I'm happy with all the hard work I've done this year," Peraza said with Braves executive assistant Annie Lee serving as an interpreter.

Joining Peraza was Jason Hursh, who was recognized as the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Hursh received this honor 15 months after the Braves took him with their first-round selection (31st overall selection) in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

"I feel more mature," Hursh said. "I've been out there and seen some of the best hitters in the Minors and some former big leaguers. I'm definitely more mature as a pitcher and off the field as well."

Peraza's quick rise has at least positioned him for the possibility to play second base and handle the leadoff duties in Atlanta next year. The 20-year-old Venezuelan speed demon batted .339 with 60 stolen bases and an .806 OPS in the 110 games he combined to play for Lynchburg and Double-A Mississippi this year.

Peraza, who counts Omar Infante and Martin Prado among his favorite players, plans to spend at least a month of this offseason playing in the Venezuelan Winter League.

While Hursh does not having overpowering stuff, the Braves are hopeful that his sinker-slider repertoire leads to enough ground balls to be successful at the Major League level. The 22-year-old right-hander went 11-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 27 appearances (26 starts) for Double-A Mississippi this year.

"I really think my secondary pitches improved a lot," Hursh said. "That helped me get through the year and have some success."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.