BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Red Sox named Clay Buchholz, who was 11-4 with Single-A clubs in Greenville and Wilmington, as its minor league pitcher of the year.

Buchholz, 22, had a 2.42 ERA in 24 starts. He was among five top minor-leaguers honored in a brief on-field ceremony before Wednesday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Jeff Natale, 24, who hit .304 with 17 homers and 87 RBIs in Greenville and Wilmington, was named the offensive player of the year.

Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, 23, who played at Single-A Wilmington before being promoted to Double-A Portland, was named the defensive player of the year and base-runner of the year. He was a first-round pick, 23rd player overall, in the 2005 draft.

Jose Alvarez, a 17-year old lefthander, was named the Latin pitcher of the year. He was 2-1 with a 1.03 ERA in the Dominican Summer League.

Infielder Richard Burgos, 19, was named the club’s Latin program player of the year. He hit . 288 and led the Dominican Summer League Red Sox with 14 doubles, four homers and 39 RBIs in 57 games.

AP-ES-09-27-06 1944EDT


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