Red Sox

Red Sox announce 2021 minor league award winners

Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox announced their minor league award winners Tuesday, highlighted by one of the club's recent top draft picks.

Second baseman Nick Yorke, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, was named Boston's minor league offensive player of the year in his first season as a professional. The 19-year-old has hit .325 with 14 home runs, 62 runs batted in, 13 stolen bases and a .928 OPS over 97 games between Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville in 2021 after not playing organized baseball last year due to the pandemic.

Since being recalled to Greenville, Yorke has actually hit 10 points higher than he did in Salem through 21 games. Considered a surprising first-round pick last year, Yorke was also named as the Red Sox prospect who's taken the biggest step forward in 2021 by ESPN analyst Kiley McDaniel.

Right hander Brayan Bello, 22, was named Boston's minor league starting pitcher of the year. Originally signed as an international free agent in 2017, the native of the Dominican Republic has posted a 3.87 earned run average over 22 starts between Greenville and Double-A Portland, though his ERA is nearly a run and a half higher with the Sea Dogs (4.66 over 15 starts) than it was in seven starts at High-A (2.27).

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The defensive player of the year in the organization was Ceddanne Rafaela, who turned 21 on Saturday. Rafaela has played every position except first base, catcher and pitcher over 102 games at Salem this season, including 52 in center field. Rafaela, who played for Curacao in the 2012 Little League World Series, has also stolen 23 bases this season while batting .251. Like Bello, he was signed as an international free agent in 2017.

 

Righty Durbin Feltman, 24, was named minor league reliever of the year with a 2.90 ERA over 37 appearances between Portland and Triple-A Worcester. He was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the third round of the 2018 draft out of TCU.

Shortstop Christian Koss, 23, was named base runner of the year with 10 steals and 65 runs scored in 104 games for Greenville. The Red Sox acquired Koss last December from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Yoan Aybar.

Outfielder Allan Castro, 18, and right-handed pitcher Jedixson Paez, 17, were named the club's Latin Program position player and pitcher of the year, respectively, after spending their summers with the Red Sox' Dominican League team.

Kutter Crawford, a right-handed pitcher who debuted with the big league club earlier this month, was named Lou Gorman Award winner. The 25-year-old overcame Tommy John surgery in October 2019 to return to baseball, making it all the way to the majors despite being a 16th round pick in 2017 out of Florida Gulf Coast University.

The players, selected by Boston's baseball operations department and minor league instructors, will be honored at Fenway Park prior to Wednesday's game against the New York Mets.