The Houston Astros’ player development department has announced Most Valuable Player award winners for its eight minor-league affiliates, including the Lexington Legends.
Outfielder Emilio King is Lexington’s MVP.
King, 22, was promoted from extended spring training to the Legends on May 7.
A former catcher, King hit .293 (106-for-362), with nine homers, 24 doubles, 42 RBI and 50 runs in 98 games. He was the team’s offensive and defensive player of the month in August, when he hit .337.
King homered in his first two games with the Legends and finished May 30-for-75 (.400), with 12 RBI in 21 games. In Lexington’s final game of the season, he threw out a runner at the plate for his 14th outfield assist.
A native of the Dominican Republic, King signed with the Astros as a non-drafted free agent in July of 2006.
Before coming to Lexington, he played four short-season stints in the organization, totaling 159 games. During that time, he hit .214 with four homers and 44 RBI.
On the last day of the season, Manager Rodney Linares called King “hands down” his most improved player.
“He rose to the occasion and … became probably my best player, my team MVP,” Linares said. “When you look at the numbers, they’re not big numbers. But, overall, he was the guy that helped us win more games — defensively, offensively had a lot of big hits.”
Houston’s other minor league MVPs:
Anderson Hernandez — Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) infielder. Hit .300 for 136 games, including a franchise-record 30-game hitting streak (10th-longest in Pacific Coast League history). Played 2B, SS and 3B, with six HR, 52 RBI and 21 SB.
Jimmy Paredes — Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) infielder. The former Legend, now playing for the Astros, hit .270 with 22 2B, 10 HR, 41 RBI and 29 SB in 93 games, earning Texas League all-star honors.
Austin Wates — Lancaster JetHawks (High-A) outfielder. Hit .300 with 23 2B, nine 3B, six HR 75 RBI and 26 SB.
Matthew Duffy — Tri-City ValleyCats (Short-season A) third baseman. A New York-Penn League all-star, hit . 298 with 20 2B, a homer, 37 RBI and two SB.
Jordan Scott — Greeneville Astros (Rookie) outfielder. Scott, who also played five games with Tri-City and 14 games with the Legends, hit .337 with 12 2B, a homer, 31 RBI and 11 SB for Greeneville. Overall totals at three levels included .323, 15 2B, four 3B, 43 RBI, 79 games.
Yonathan Mejia — Gulf Coast League Astros second baseman. Hit .329 with eight 2B, 25 RBI and two SB in 40 games.
Teoscar Hernandez — Dominican Summer League Astros outfielder. Hit .274 with 13 2B, seven 3B, seven HR, 35 RBI and 16 SB over 65 games.
Mark Michael in control with Calgary
Former Lexington Catholic and University of Kentucky pitcher Mark Michael recently wrapped up his ninth season of minor-league ball.
Michael finished 8-2 in the regular season, 1-0 in the playoffs for the Calgary Vipers of the North American Independent League. He finished fourth in the 10-team league with a 4.17 ERA, third in wins and 15th in strikeouts (69) – leading his team in all those categories. Over 15 starts, he worked 82 innings.
Former Legends pitcher Rory Shortell shared the league lead in regular-season wins, 11 to help the Edmonton Capitals to a championship.