Diamondbacks Announce Minors Awards
Justin Upton (Roy Dabner/AP)

Posted Sep 10, 2007


PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that outfielder Justin Upton and right-handed pitcher Esmerling Vasquez were selected as the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher-of-the-Year.

Justin Upton, 20, hit .319 (123-for-385) with 75 runs scored, 23 doubles, 6 triples, 18 home runs and 70 RBI with .551 slugging and .410 on-base percentages in 103 games between Class A Visalia and Double-A Mobile. The first overall selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Upton had substantial minor league success this season which led to his first taste of major league action. His big league debut came on August 2 at San Diego.

Prior to his promotion to Mobile, he was leading Visalia with a .341 average, good for third in the California League. At the time of his big league call-up, Upton was second on the team (sixth in the Southern League) with a .309 average and was second in the league with a .556 slugging percentage. For the Oaks, Upton reeled off a 13-game hitting streak from April 17-30, a stretch that saw him bat .531 (26-for-49) with 6 multi-hit games, 11 RBI and a stretch of 5 straight games with a home run. In his second game with Mobile on May 15, Upton collected a career-high 6 RBI as part of his 3-for-5 game, one of his 22 multi-hit games for the BayBears. He earned a spot on the USA team in the Futures Game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, hitting a home run in the contest.

Esmerling Vasquez, 23, was 10-6 with a 2.99 ERA (55 ER in 165.1 IP) in 29 starts Mobile. He struck out 151 batters and walked 60, while holding opponents to a .217 average (125-for-576) and only 11 home runs. His 2.99 ERA was second in the Southern League, while his 151 strikeouts were good for third and his 165.1 innings pitched ranked second. Vasquez was undefeated in 19 straight games from May 18-Aug. 21, going 8-0 with a 2.46 ERA (29 ER in 106.0 IP), including a season-high 11-strikeout effort against West Tennessee on June 25, earning a victory after a 7.0-inning, 1-run performance. Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent on March 2, 2003, Vasquez completed his fifth season in the Diamondbacks' system.

Organizational Annual Honor Roll

Player-of-the-Year

1996 Kevin Sweeney, Lethbridge (R)
1997 Travis Lee, High Desert (A)
Mike Stoner, High Desert (A)
1998 Jason Conti, Tulsa (AA - Texas Rangers)
1999 Jack Cust, High Desert (A)
2000 Alex Cabrera, Tucson (AAA)/El Paso (AA)
2001 Lyle Overbay, El Paso (AA)
2002 Scott Hairston, South Bend (A)/Lancaster (A)
2003 Chad Tracy, Tucson (AAA)
2004 Carlos Quentin, Lancaster (A)/El Paso (AA)
2005 Andy Green, Tucson (AAA)
2006 Alberto Callaspo, Tucson (AAA)
2007 Justin Upton, Visalia (A)/Mobile (AA)


Pitcher-of-the-Year
1996 Vladimir Nunez, Lethbridge (R)
1997 Brad Penny, South Bend (A)
1998 Brad Penny, South Bend (A)
1999 Andrew Good, South Bend (A)
2000 Bret Prinz, South Bend/El Paso (AA)
2001 Beltran Perez, South Bend (A)
2002 Michael Gosling, El Paso (AA)
2003 Brian Bruney, El Paso (AA)/Tucson (AAA)
2004 Enrique Gonzalez, Lancaster (A)
2005 Dustin Nippert, Tennessee (AA)
2006 Micah Owings, Tennessee (AA)/Tucson (AAA)
2007 Esmerling Vasquez, Mobile (AA)



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