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Top prospects honored for 2012 play
Topps, Minor Leagues select winners from each league
11/05/2012 2:33 PM ET
Reading's Darin Ruf led all Minor Leaguers with 38 home runs.
Reading's Darin Ruf led all Minor Leaguers with 38 home runs. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball™ and the Topps Company announced today that Darin Ruf, who led Minor League Baseball with 38 home runs, and Billy Hamilton, who broke the all-time single season stolen bases record by swiping 155, are among the honorees that have been selected as a league Topps Player of the Year in the annual George M. Trautman Awards. The Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays each had farmhands chosen in two of the 16 domestic Minor Leagues. Thirteen Major League organizations are represented in all.

The Reading Phillies first baseman hit 20 of his 38 homers in August on his way to winning Eastern League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year honors. Ruf's unbelievable August tied the professional record for home runs in a month set by Sammy Sosa in June 1998.

Hamilton is the Topps California League Player of the Year. The shortstop began his season with the Bakersfield Blaze, hitting .323 and stealing 104 bases in just 82 games. He then stole another 51 bases after a promotion to Double-A® Pensacola to break Vince Coleman's mark of 145 set in 1983 with the Macon Redbirds.

The other Philadelphia Phillies Minor League winner, besides Ruf, is Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs right-hander Tyler Cloyd (International). The two Pittsburgh farmhands are outfielder Gregory Polanco of the West Virginia Power (South Atlantic) and shortstop Dilson Herrera of the Gulf Coast League Pirates. Toronto's honorees include pitchers Justin Nicolino of the Lansing Lugnuts (Midwest) and Taylor Cole (Northwest) of the Vancouver Canadians.

Topps salutes the top performances throughout Minor League Baseball, including monthly awards and all-star teams in each classification.

2012 TOPPS/MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
LEAGUE PLAYER CLUB MLB ORG POS AVG-HR-RBI W-L-ERA
International Tyler Cloyd Lehigh Valley PHI P 12-1-2.35
Pacific Coast Wil Myers Omaha KC OF .304-24-79
Eastern Darin Ruf Reading PHI 1B .317-38-104
Southern Hunter Morris Huntsville MIL 1B .303-28-113
Texas Oscar Taveras Springfield STL OF .321-23-94
California Billy Hamilton Bakersfield CIN SS .323-1-30
Carolina Xander Bogaerts Salem BOS SS .302-15-64
Florida State Christian Yelich Jupiter MIA OF .330-12-48
Midwest Justin Nicolino Lansing TOR P 10-4-2.46
South Atlantic Gregory Polanco West Virginia PIT OF .325-16-85
New York-Penn Taylor Guerrieri Hudson Valley TB P 1-2-1.04
Northwest Taylor Cole Vancouver TOR P 6-0-0.81
Appalachian Max Kepler Elizabethton MIN OF .297-10-49
Pioneer David Dahl Grand Junction COL OF .379-9-57
Arizona Joey Gallo AZL Rangers TEX 3B .293-18-43
Gulf Coast Dilson Herrera GCL Pirates PIT SS .281-7-27

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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