The Durham Bulls have the International League's best record and took three of four main awards today as the IL announced its end-of-season all-star team. Durham took most valuable player (3B Dan Johnson, left), most valuable pitcher (Jeremy Hellickson) and manager of the year (Charlie Montoyo). The Bulls are the first team since the 1995 Norfolk Tides to win at least three of the honors. The fourth one, rookie of the year, went to Gwinnett first baseman Freddie Freeman, who is getting called up to the Atlanta Braves tomorrow.
Johnson, a former regular for the Oakland Athletics, has been with the Tampa Bay Rays since early August but still leads the IL in home runs (30), RBIs (95) and slugging (.624). He hit a walkoff home run for Tampa Saturday night to beat the Red Sox. Hellickson won 12 games for Durham and posted a league-leading 2.45 ERA. He then won three games for Tampa before getting reassigned to Class A to prep for a relief role akin to what David Price did in 2008.
The Bisons were shut out of the awards. Jesus Feliciano missed too much time in New York, Mike Hessman and Lucas Duda were only here for a half-season apiece and modern-era strikeout king Dillon Gee has an ERA approaching 5.00 even though he leads the league in Ks and has 13 wins. You probably could have made a case for Justin Turner at second base too even though he split time with Norfolk and Buffalo, but Louisville's Chris Valaika has been outstanding for a likely division winner.
The complete IL list:
1B: Freddie Freeman, Gwinnett
2B: Chris Valaika, Louisville
3B: Dan Johnson, Durham
SS: Eduardo Nunez, Scranton-WB
C: Jesus Montero, Scranton-WB
OF: Wladimir Balentien, Louisville; Jeff Frazier, Toledo; Jose Costanza, Columbus
DH: Barbaro Canizares, Gwinnett
Utility: Elliott Johnson, Durham
Starting pitcher: Jeremy Hellickson, Durham
Relief pitcher: Jonathan Albaledejo, Scranton-WB
Pitcher of the Year: Hellickson
Rookie of the Year: Freeman
Manager of the Year: Charlie Montoyo, Durham
AP Photo: Johnson watches his walkoff shot Saturday night for the Rays.
taggedBisons/Mets | International League