Four Cincinnati Reds prospects were announced as winners of organizational awards during Redsfest on Friday.
Infielder Seth Mejias-Brean was named the Reds Minor League Player of the Year, becoming the third Dragons player to win the award. (The other two were Austin Kearns in 2000 and Billy Hamilton in 2011.) Mejias-Brean batted .305 with 10 HR and 79 RBI in 127 games with the Dragons; he also went 4-for-13 in three games with the High-A Bakersfield Blaze.
Outfielder Jesse Winker was named the Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year. He spent the entire 2013 season with the Dragons, batting .281 with 16 HR, 76 RBI and 63 walks in 112 games.
RHP Robert Stephenson, recently ranked Cincinnati’s top prospect by Baseball America, was named the Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He started the 2013 season with the Dragons, going 5-3 with a 2.57 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 77 IP, and started four games in High-A and four games in Double A. He was scheduled to be the Eastern Division’s starting pitcher in this year’s Midwest League All-Star Game but didn’t play due to a strained hamstring.
Infielder Brent Peterson was given the Reds Minor League Community Service Award for his frequent participation as a volunteer in community service events. According to the Dragons, Peterson’s 30 hours of volunteer community service included making visits to elementary schools, being active in several Dragons Kids Club events, participating in the Dragons Boy Scout Baseball Clinic and the “Dragons Experience” Baseball Camp, and making several other appearances over the course of the season.
On the field, Peterson batted .229 in 53 games with the Dragons.
Benavides joins Reds as coach
The Reds recently announced the addition of Freddie Benavides to their major-league coaching staff. His focus will be on infield instruction.
Benavides played and managed in the Midwest League. As a player, he batted .219 with 1 HR, 32 RBI and 18 SB in 93 games with the 1987-88 Cedar Rapids Reds. As a manager, he was skipper of the 1999 Clinton LumberKings and the 2000 Dayton Dragons; both teams reached the playoffs. He managed three notable future major-leaguers in the Midwest League: Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns and Jose Acevedo.