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Twins honor top Minor League player, pitcher

Twins honor top Minor League player, pitcher

Twins honor top Minor League player, pitcher
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins on Thursday named infielder Brian Dozier the Sherry Robertson Award winner as their Minor League Player of the Year, and right-hander Liam Hendriks the Jim Rantz Award winner as the Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Dozier, 24, started the season at Class A Fort Myers where he hit .322 with a .423 on-base percentage and .472 slugging percentage with two homers, 22 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 49 games. He then was promoted to Double-A New Britain on June 6, and batted .318/.384/.502 with seven homers, 34 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 78 games.

He combined to bat .320/.399/.491 with 33 doubles, 12 triples, nine home runs and 56 RBIs in 127 games this season, while playing 93 games at shortstop, 28 games at second base, three games at third base and four games as designated hitter.

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The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder was also the club's Minor League Player of the Month for May, batting .337 with seven doubles, three triples and 11 RBIs in 27 games with the Miracle. Dozier, who was the club's eighth-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, led all Twins Minor Leaguers in triples (12) and runs scored (92), was tied for first in stolen bases (24) and second in total bases (241).

Hendriks, 22, who was ranked by MLB.com as the Twins' sixth-best prospect, began the year at New Britain and went 8-2 with a 2.70 ERA with 81 strikeouts compared to 18 walks over 90 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A Rochester on July 19, and went 4-4 with a 4.56 ERA with 30 strikeouts and three walks in 49 1/3 innings.

The Perth, Australia, native made his Major League debut on Sept 6, and made four starts down the stretch, posting a 6.17 ERA with 16 strikeouts and six walks over 23 1/3 innings.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder was the club's Minor League Player of the Week for June 4-10, going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA over two starts. He was second among all Twins Minor Leaguers in wins (12) and strikeouts (111). Hendriks was signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent out of Sacred Heart College in Australia in 2007.

The Sherry Robertson Award, named in honor of the Twins' first farm director, was established in 1970 to recognize the organization's top Minor League performer each season. Beginning in 2002, the award began recognizing the club's Minor League Player of the Year, while an additional award was created to recognize the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year, which was named in honor of current Twins Minor League director Jim Rantz.

Both Dozier and Hendriks, along with the club's other 2011 award winners, will be recognized at the Seventh Annual Diamond Awards dinner, which will be held on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT at Target Field.

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.

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