Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., announced today that Astros prospects 2B Tony Kemp and C Roberto Pena were named 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award recipients. The award is given to nine minor league players each year (one player at each position) who demonstrated defensive excellence at their respective positions. Both Kemp and Pena will receive their own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball's top defensive players.
Kemp and Pena were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season minor leagues. They are the first Astros prospects to receive the award since its return to the minor league ranks in 2011, as the award had an almost 50-year hiatus.
The Astros and Tigers were the only organizations with multiple 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award recipients.
A fifth round pick by the Astros in the 2013 draft out of Vanderbilt, Kemp split his 2014 season between Double A Corpus Christi (59 games) and Class A Advanced Lancaster (72 games). In his 120 total games at second base between the two levels, Kemp made just seven errors in 524 chances for a .987 fielding percentage. The 22-year-old led all Texas League second basemen with a .996 fielding percentage, while ranking third among California League second basemen with a .980 mark (min. 50 games).
Kemp led the minor leagues this season with 121 runs scored, the most by an Astros minor leaguer since James Mouton (126) in 1993, while ranking tied for fifth in hits (167).
Pena, 22, played 93 games with the California League Champion Lancaster JetHawks this year in what was his fifth season in the Astros system. The 2010 seventh-round pick led all California League catchers in fielding percentage (.996) and caught stealing percentage (56.5%). Pena made just three errors in 842 total chances while throwing out 52-of-92 runners attempting to steal, the highest number of runners caught stealing by any minor league catcher this season.