By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
9:00 PM EDT, September 25, 2012
The Orioles didn’t have to make any extra travel plans for their top minor-league award winners for the first time in 20-plus years.
On Tuesday, as part of minor league appreciation night, the organization honored current Oriole right-hander Dylan Bundy (Jim Palmer Prize) and outfielder L.J. Hoes (Brooks Robinson Award) during a pre-game ceremony at Camden Yards.
Only two other times in the club’s history have both of its top minor league award winners been with the Orioles in September: Anthony Telford and Leo Gomez in 1990 and Mike Mussina and Chito Martinez in 1991.
The 19-year-old Bundy, who was recalled Sept. 19 and made his debut Sunday by getting two outs in Fenway Park, was 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in his first pro season at three minor league levels.
“It’s a good honor. I am blessed to have that and that the organization thinks that of me,” said Bundy, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. “My goal at the beginning of the year was to be in Bowie, and I made that goal. They told me I wasn’t going to get called up and then I exceeded that goal by Buck calling me up here. So I’m happy with it.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he’s been impressed with Bundy’s attitude since he has been with the team — how he’s both respectful and confident.
“He listens to Jim Thome. Jim Thome told him yesterday, ‘Son, don’t let me ever beat you to the park again.’ [Bundy] was here this morning at 11 a.m.,” Showalter joked. “He’s got the right amount of, I don’t want to say awe, but respect for everything. But not to the point where he doesn’t think he can do it.”
Hoes, a third-round pick in 2008 from Mitchellville hit a combined .287 with a .372 on-base percentage and 20 steals at Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie. The youngest position player in the International League for most of his time with Norfolk, the 22-year-old Hoes was promoted by the Orioles on Sept. 11, but has not yet appeared in a game.
As honored as he was in receiving the Robinson Award — he dedicated it to the memory of his grandfather who died last month — Hoes said it’s not as important to him as his experience in Baltimore this month.
“I would say being here, just being up in the big leagues and getting the experience,” Hoes said. “The awards and accolades will come, but as long as the team is winning, that’s how I’ve always looked at it. I like to be up here and sucking everything in.”
Also recognized on Tuesday was minor league lefty Trent Howard, who received the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award for outstanding character on and off the field. Howard, a 2011 seventh rounder, pitched for Delmarva and Frederick and made numerous appearances in the community on behalf of the clubs.
Director of pitching development Rick Peterson, a former long-time big league pitching coach, won the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award. He was an integral part of improving the club’s quality of pitching throughout the minors this season.
Longtime scout Jim Howard, who is credited with signing Jim Johnson and scouting Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom before the February trade with the Colorado Rockies, was presented with the Jim Russo Scout of the Year Award. Howard also signed Erik Bedard, who was dealt to the Seattle Mariners for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, among others, and Jim Hoey, who was sent to Minnesota as part of the J.J. Hardy deal.
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