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Dodgers tab Scott Van Slyke, Shawn Tolleson minor players of year

Scott-van-slyke_325 It might be minor, but the results can often prove major.

The Dodgers selected infielder/outfielder Scott Van Slyke (pictured at right) their minor league players of the year and Shawn Tolleson their minor league pitcher of the year on Thursday.

The Dodgers dipped into double-A Chattanooga to tap Van Slyke and Tolleson, who also split his season with a pair of Class-A teams.

That might seem as if the Dodgers are going deep into the system to find their Branch Rickey award winners, but the Dodgers haven’t been shy about tabbing young players in the past.

Last year’s winners were Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa, who had split time between Class A and double A that season, and both made it to the Dodgers this year.

Van Slyke, son of former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke, spent all season at Chattanooga, winning the Southern League batting title with a .348 average. He had 20 home runs, 92 RBIs and 159 hits in 457 at-bats.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Van Slyke, 25, completed his seventh season in the Dodgers organization, but Tolleson was appearing in only his second.

A right-handed reliever, Tolleson went a combined 7-2 with 25 saves and a 1.17 earned-run average. He averaged 13.7 strikeouts per nine innings. He started the season at Class-A Great Lakes, was briefly assigned to high Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, before being promoted to Chattanooga.

Tolleson, 23, was a 30th-round selection in the 2010 draft; Van Slyke was taken in the 14th round in 2005.

Previous player-of-the-year winners include Dee Gordon, James Loney, Paul Konerko, Mike Piazza and Eric Karros, and previous pitcher-of-the-year winners include Scott Elbert, Chad Billingsley, Eric Gagne and Pedro Martinez.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

 
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