Batter of the Year: Randy Ruiz, First Baseman
Ruiz was a feel good story for the Rochester Red Wings during the 2008 season, as the right-handed slugger batted his way into the Major League for the first time in his ten-year minor league career. Called up to the big league club when Craig Monroe was designated for assignment, Ruiz batted .274 for the Twins in 22 games, and even blasted his first Major League home run. However, it is with the Red Wings where Ruiz did his most damage, batting .320 in 111 games before being called up. In total, Ruiz smacked 17 home runs, drove in 68, and scored 58 times. He did strike out in bunches, but finished his Red Wings season in the top-ten in the organization in nearly every power category.
Honorable Mention: Garrett Jones (23HR, 92RBI), Howie Clark (.293BA, 50R)
Pitcher of the Year: Francisco Liriano, Starting Pitcher
Liriano was using Rochester to get back to the Major Leagues in 2008, but in the process, was the staff ace for 19 starts. Finishing fourth on the team in games started, the young left-hander was just as dominant as he was for the team in 2005, when he went 9-2 and posted a 1.78 earned run average in 14 starts. In 2008, Liriano went 10-2, with an earned run average of 3.28, and he struck out nearly a batter per inning. Liriano then went on to make 13 starts at the big league level, and looks like he is back to the form he had before undergoing Tommy John Surgery.
Honorable Mention: Bobby Korecky (26SV), Kevin Mulvey (27GS, 3.77 ERA), Mariano Gomez (54G, 2.76ERA)