Sports

Aug 27, 2013 10:20 PM

Springer, Martinez Headline Post-Season Awards


CORPUS CHRISTI - Former Hooks George Springer and David Martinez earned Texas League Player and Pitcher of the Year honors, league president Tom Kayser announced Tuesday. Pitching coach Gary Ruby was named the Mike Coolbaugh Coach of the Year, awarded to the league's top assistant.

Right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, third baseman Jonathan Meyer and catcher Max Stassi joined Martinez and Springer on the TL Post-Season All-Star Team.

Springer, who entered 2013 as Baseball America's No. 3 Astros prospect, earned the league's Player of the Year award despite playing just the first half of the season with Corpus Christi. In 73 games, Houston's 2011 first-round draft pick hit .297 with 19 home runs, 55 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.

At the time of his promotion to Triple-A, Springer led or shared the Texas League lead in home runs, runs (56), total bases (158) and slugging percentage (.579). With Oklahoma City he has been even better, hitting .307 with 18 home runs, 50 RBIs and 20 steals, while he pursues the first 40-40 season in Minor League Baseball since 1956.

Martinez arrived in Corpus Christi as a less heralded prospect than Springer, but turned into the league's most dominant pitcher. In 26 games with the Hooks, 18 starts, he went 14-2 with a 2.02 ERA and one save. Martinez walked 20 and struck out 86 in 129.1 innings pitched. He allowed more than three runs in an appearance just once.

After a promotion to Oklahoma City August 8, Martinez still paces the circuit in victories, earned run average, WHIP (1.00) and winning percentage (.875). The right-hander from Venezuela made two appearances for Oklahoma City before he made his big league debut August 21 at Texas.

In his second season as Corpus Christi pitching coach, Gary Ruby has led Hooks hurlers to a 3.72 team earned run average, fourth in the Texas League. The club's 14 shutouts lead the league and its four complete games are tied for first.

Ruby is in his sixth year as a pitching coach in the Astros organization and his 27th overall in the minor leagues, dating to his hiring with Cleveland in 1987. He spent three years as a pitcher in the Indians farm system after they drafted him out of Arizona State in 1969.

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