Infielder Rougned Odor was named the Tom Grieve Player of the Year and right-handed pitcher Luke Jackson was awarded the Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year as the duo headlined the yearly minor league award winners for the Texas Rangers in 2013. Outfielder Jake Skole was tabbed as Defender of the Year and left-handed Alexander Claudio is the reliever of the year.
The four players will be honored at the 2014 Dr Pepper Awards dinner Jan. 24 at Grapevine's Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. For more information and tickets, you can go here.
Here's information on each player from the club's release:
Odor, who turns 20 next month, combined to bat .305 (156-511) with 41 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs, 78 RBIs, 32 stolen bases, and 85 runs in 2013. The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower led all full season Texas farmhands in batting and tied for the 3rd-most doubles in Minor League Baseball. Odor was both a midseason and postseason All-Star selection in the Carolina League and finished the season ranked among the league leaders in batting (3rd, .305), doubles (T5th, 33), and stolen bases (T5th, 27). The teenager earned a promotion to Frisco in August and finished the season as the youngest player in the Texas League. Odor was signed as a non-drafted free agent Jan. 3, 2011 by Rafic Saab and Mike Daly.
Jackson, 22, combined to go 11-4 with a 2.04 ERA (29 ER/128.0 IP) and 134 strikeouts over 25 games/23 starts with High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco last year. The right-hander posted the 7th-lowest opponent average (.202) and 8th-lowest ERA among all minor league pitchers in full season leagues. Jackson was the starter for the Carolina League in their annual All-Star Game versus the California League and was tabbed the 9th-best prospect on the circuit by Baseball America. The Florida native earned a promotion to Double-A Frisco in August and did not allow a run over his first 20.0 innings at the Double-A level. Jackson was selected by the Rangers in the supplemental first round (45th overall) of the 2010 June draft.
Skole, who turns 22 on Friday, rated statistically as the top defensive outfielder in the Carolina League last season. The Georgia native compiled a .996 fielding percentage (1 E/246 TC) with 10 outfield assists in 111 games, ranking 6th in the Carolina League in both assists and total chances. At the plate, Skole batted .211 (76-361) with 22 doubles, a triple, three home runs, 40 RBIs, 69 walks, and 59 runs in 117 games with the Pelicans. Skole was selected in the first round (15th overall) of the 2010 June draft and signed by Ryan Coe.
Claudio, who turns 22 on January 31, combined to go 4-6 with a 1.83 ERA (16 ER/78.2 IP) and 91 strikeouts against 18 walks over 45 relief appearances with Low-A Hickory and Frisco in 2013. The southpaw held opposing batters to a .183 average (50-273) overall, including a .133 mark (12-90) by left-handed batters. Claudio allowed just two runs (one ER) over a 21-game stretch with Hickory from April 17 to June 16 before earning a promotion to Double-A. The Puerto Rico native was selected in the 27th round of the 2010 June draft and signed by Frankie Thon.