It has not taken long for Jason Kipnis and Alex White to make an impact within the Indians' Minor League system. Their steady production has made for a rapid rise up the organizational ladder for the pair of prospects.
Awards are just icing on the cake.
On Thursday, the Indians named Kipnis the recipient of the 2010 Lou Boudreau Award, honoring him as the Minor League Player of the Year. White earned the club's 2010 Bob Feller Award, which is presented annually to the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Their careers are only beginning, but Kipnis and White showed great promise with their respective showings this past season.
Kipnis, converted to second base this season after serving as an outfielder a year ago, led Cleveland's Minor League system in hits (159) and runs scored (96), while ranking in the top five in triples (eight), doubles (32), home runs (16) and RBIs (74). He did so between stints with high Class A Kinston and Double-A Akron.
White, who was the 15th overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, led the Indians' farm system this past season in innings pitched (150 2/3) and ranked second in ERA (2.45). Overall, the right-hander went 10-10 with 117 strikeouts against 46 walks in 26 games (25 starts) between Kinston and Akron.
Following the season, Baseball America rated the 22-year-old White as the eighth-best prospect in the Eastern League. Kipnis, 23, was right behind him in the rankings at No. 9.
Kipnis, selected by the Indians in the second round of the 2009 Draft, is currently playing for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. He headed to the AFL after helping Triple-A Columbus to the International League crown, hitting .455 with two homers, three doubles, two triples and three RBIs for the Clippers in the playoffs.
Overall, Kipnis finished the season batting .307 over 133 games in the regular season. He opened the year with a .300 average in 54 games with Kinston before earning a promotion to Double-A. In his 79 games with Akron, Kipnis hit .311 with 10 homers, 20 doubles, 63 runs scored and 32 RBIs.
White began the 2010 season by going 2-3 with a 2.86 ERA in eight starts with Kinston. After being promoted to Double-A at the end of May, he went 8-7 with a 2.28 ERA, limiting hitters to a .226 average over his 106 2/3 innings with the Aeros. White's ERA would have led the Eastern League, but he did not have enough innings to qualify.