The Orioles today announced the winners of their player development and scouting awards for 2013, including OF HENRY URRUTIA as the club's top minor league player and RHP MIKE WRIGHT as the club's top minor league pitcher. The winners will be honored in an on-field ceremony before today's game against the Chicago White Sox, with awards presented by DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT, BRIAN GRAHAM and DIRECTOR OF MINOR LEAGUE OPERATIONS, KENT QUALLS.
Urrutia, the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year, hit a combined .347/.406/.506 with 31 extra-base hits, 50 RBI and 49 runs scored in 81 total games with Double-A Bowie (.365/.433/.550 in 52 games) and Triple-A Norfolk (.316/.358/.430 in 29 games). Urrutia was selected to the MLB Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game in New York, going 0-for-3 for the World Team. He was also named an Eastern League All-Star. Urrutia made his major league debut on July 20 at Texas, collecting his first major league hit that night on a third inning RBI single. He collected a career-high three hits on July 22 at Kansas City, and has batted .283 (15-53) in 22 games for the Orioles this season. Urrutia was signed by the Orioles as a non-drafted free agent on July 11, 2012 and is the 12th Cuban-born player in club history.
Wright, the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year, went 11-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 143.2 innings pitched for Double-A Bowie this season. He made one start for Triple-A Norfolk to end the year, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings. Wright earned the win in this year's Eastern League All-Star Game as the game's starter, tossing a scoreless first inning (one strikeout) in the Western Division's 5-0 win. He finished the season among the Eastern League leaders in ERA (T-1st - 3.26), wins (T-2nd - 11) and K/9 ratio (5th - 8.52). Wright was among the organizational season leaders in wins (T-1st - 11), strikeouts (2nd - 138) and ERA (3rd - 3.11). The 23-year old right-hander was selected by the Orioles in the 3rd round of the 2011 First Year Player Draft out of East Carolina University.
INF ANTHONY CARONIA has been named this year's recipient of the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award. Caronia, the Orioles' 27th round pick in 2012 out of the University of Tampa, displayed outstanding dedication to the community while spending most of his season with the Delmarva Shorebirds. Caronia made numerous appearances at little leagues and summer camps, easily interacting with staff and kids. He also regularly caught ceremonial first pitches and frequently signed autographs for fans before games.
Bowie Baysox Manager GARY KENDALL is the winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award, presented to a minor league staff member who exemplifies the qualities of the late Oriole who is regarded as the architect of "The Oriole Way." Kendall recently completed his 14th season with the Orioles and his third year managing at Double-A. In his time with the organization, Kendall has managed, coached and helped develop many current Orioles and top prospects, including JIM JOHNSON, NICK MARKAKIS, BRIAN MATUSZ, MANNY MACHADO, KEVIN GAUSMAN, JONATHAN SCHOOP, URRUTIA, WRIGHT and EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ. Kendall has been selected to manage in the Arizona Fall League this year, has been a coach or instructor for 13 years at the Orioles' Fall Instructional League, and has served as a coach at Major League Spring Training for the past 10 years.
Area Scout DAVE JENNINGS will receive the Jim Russo Scout of the Year Award, named in honor of the man who spent 33 years in various scouting capacities with the Orioles beginning with their move from St. Louis in 1954. Jennings has been an Orioles scout for 13 years, having started with the organization in 2002. His draft signings for the Orioles include four 1st round selections (GAUSMAN in 2012, MATT WIETERS in 2007, MARKAKIS in 2003, ADAM LOEWEN in 2002) and 2nd round selection XAVIER AVERY in 2008. Jennings also signed current O's minor leaguers LEX RUTLEDGE (6th Round in 2012), DEVIN JONES (9th Round in 2011) and CREEDE SIMPSON (25th Round in 2012). Orioles DIRECTOR OF SCOUTING, GARY RAJSICH will present the award.
Additionally, Carolina League Athletic Trainer of the Year PAT WESLEY will be honored. Wesley recently completed his 10th full season as an Athletic Trainer in the Orioles organization, his fifth with Frederick. He has previously worked in the Arizona Fall League and served as a trainer at major league spring training. Wesley was previously named as the Athletic Trainer of the Year in the South Atlantic League during his tenure with the Delmarva Shorebirds. He is a graduate of McKendree University.