HOMER BAILEY NAMED REDS’ MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
To Receive Chief Bender Award Tonight At LaSalle High School Stag
CINCINNATI - RHP Homer Bailey has been named winner of the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award as the Cincinnati Reds’ Minor League Player of the Year for 2006. 1B Joey Votto was named the organization’s Hitter of the Year and RHP Johnny Cueto Pitcher of the Year.
Reds minor league field coordinator Tim Naehring will present Bailey his award at tonight’s LaSalle High School sports stag. Also scheduled to attend the annual dinner are general manager Wayne Krivsky, manager Jerry Narron, pitcher Todd Coffey, infielder Brandon Phillips and outfielder Chris Dickerson. Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson is this evening’s guest speaker.
Bailey, Krivsky, Narron, Coffey, Phillips and Dickerson, along with broadcasters Marty and Thom Brennaman, are participating in the 26-stop Reds Winter Caravan, in partnership with Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network and cincinnatiusa.com, that is scheduled to leave Crosley Terrace at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. Two separate legs of the caravan will make 26 stops in 21 cities and towns in four states covering four days and more than 1,300 miles. At reds.com, fans can listen to selected radio station Caravan stops. See the web site for that schedule. At every stop, the Reds will raffle off 2 tickets to Opening Day against the Cubs.
Bailey, 20, has been rated the top prospect in the organization since he was selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the June 2004 first-year player draft. Last season he went 10-6 with a 2.47 ERA in 26 starts split evenly between Class A Sarasota and Class AA Chattanooga. He was a Baseball America Minor League and Class AA All-Star, and in an in-season poll of that publication he was voted Best Pitching Prospect and Best Fastball in the Florida State League. Following the season, Bailey was voted the top prospect in both the Southern League and Florida State League.
Votto, 23, at Class AA Chattanooga was the Southern League’s Most Valuable Player and batting champion and TOPPS’ Southern League Player of the Year. He led the SL in hitting (.319), hits (162), doubles (46), on-base percentage (.408), slugging percentage (.547), extra-base hits (70), total bases (278), runs scored (85) and walks (78) while finishing second in homers (22). He fell 1 double shy of the Southern League single-season record.
Cueto, 21, last season went 15-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 26 starts at Class A Dayton and Sarasota. He led all Reds minor league pitchers with 15 wins and finished second in the organization with 143 strikeouts.
The organization’s minor league player of the year award is named after Sheldon “Chief” Bender, who spent 64 years in baseball. He spent his last 39 years in the game with the Reds in their scouting and player development departments.