DODGERS NAME RIGHT-HANDER RUBBY DE LA ROSA AND INFIELDER/OUTFIELDER JERRY SANDS AS THE BRANCH RICKEY MINOR LEAGUE PITCHER AND PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today named right-hander Rubby De La Rosa and infielder/outfielder Jerry Sands as the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
The 21-year-old De La Rosa went a combined 7-2 with six saves and a 2.37 ERA in 22 games (13 starts) with Double-A Chattanooga and Single-A Great Lakes. This was De La Rosa’s fourth year in the organization after he signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2007.
The Dominican Republic native opened the season as a reliever with the Loons, picking up six saves and making just one start in 10 appearances before the All-Star break. Following the break, De La Rosa was moved into a starter’s role and earned his July 23 promotion to Double-A by going 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA (5 ER/27.0 IP) and limiting opposing hitters to a .165 average in four starts.
In eight starts with the Lookouts, De La Rosa went 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA (8 ER/51.0 IP), which led the Double-A Southern League during his time on the circuit, and limited opponents to .215 batting average. He did not allow an earned run in his first three starts (18.0 IP) and won the August Dodger Pride Award for Chattanooga after going 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in six starts during the month. He is currently pitching in the Fall Instructional League in Arizona, which opened last Thursday.
Jerry Sands tied for the third in all of Minor League Baseball with 35 home runs in a combined 137 games with Great Lakes and Chattanooga. The 23-year-old was selected as an outfielder on Sporting News’ All-Minor League Team and batted a combined .301, drove in 93 runs and posted a .586 slugging percentage in his third professional season. Sands was selected by the Dodgers in the 25th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Catawba College in North Carolina.
The North Carolina native had a decorated season, garnering league Player of the Week honors four times (three times with Great Lakes, once with Chattanooga) and winning the Top Star MVP Award in the Single-A Midwest League All-Star Game. Sands also won the April and May Dodger Pride Awards for Great Lakes, batting .355 (65-for-183) with 15 homers and 37 RBI in 51 games over the season’s first two months.
Sands led the Lookouts with 17 home runs for the season despite only playing in 68 games for the club and batted .270 with 47 RBI following his June 24 promotion from Great Lakes. In 69 games with the Loons, Sands ranked among the league leaders in batting average (.333, T-2nd), home runs (18, 1st), RBI (46, 2nd), on-base percentage (.432, 2nd) and slugging percentage (.646, 1st). He will play for Don Mattingly and the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, which opens play on October 12.
Both De La Rosa and Sands will be honored in a pregame ceremony on Saturday, October 2 prior to the Dodgers game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Representatives from each of the Dodgers’ minor league partners will be on hand for the ceremony.