Twins recognize Vargas, Berrios with organizational honors

Twins recognize Vargas, Berrios with organizational honors

MINNEAPOLIS -- A pair of Puerto Rico natives earned honors from the Twins on Monday, as the club named first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas and right-hander Jose Berrios the organization's player and pitcher of the year, respectively.

It's the second major honor for both Vargas and Berrios, as they also both represented the Twins in the Sirius/XM Futures All-Star Game at Target Field on July 13. Vargas is currently with the Twins, while Berrios ended the year at Triple-A Rochester after making a spot start there at the end of the season.

"I think Vargas and Berrios were certainly worthy of those selections," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "Vargas jumped up two levels to get here and Berrios jumped up a couple levels throughout the course of the summer. Both of them have a chance to be good for a long time up here."

Vargas, the recipient of the 2014 Sherry Robertson Award, started the year at Double-A New Britain and hit .281/.360/.472 with 17 doubles, 17 home runs, 63 RBIs, 50 runs and 43 walks in 97 games. The 24-year-old has been with Minnesota since Aug. 1.

With the big league club, Vargas has hit .288/.303/.480 with nine doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 38 RBIs and 24 runs in 47 games. He found out he won the award on Sunday night at the Twins' annual team dinner.

"For me, it's an honor to be selected the Minor League Player of the Year," Vargas said. "I worked very hard for that. I worked hard for six years and got a lot of help from the Minor League coaching staffs and teammates. And I'll keep working hard to maybe be selected as an All-Star player or something and hopefully reach the World Series."

Berrios, 20, is ranked fifth in the Twins' system by MLB.com. The six-foot, 187-pound right-hander began the season with Class A Fort Myers and went 9-3 with a 1.96 ERA. Berrios allowed 78 hits and 23 walks while striking out 109 in 16 starts, then was promoted to New Britain on July 7. Over eight starts there, he went 3-4 with a 3.54 ERA before hitting the disabled list on Aug. 2 with a right shoulder strain. Berrios also made one start with Rochester, allowing six runs in three innings on Aug. 31.

"You know what we think about Vargas because he's up here, but we think equally of Berrios," Ryan said. "He's one of the better ones we have. He's not the biggest kid we have, but he's very athletic and is one of the hardest-working kids we have."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.