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11/20/08 4:30 PM EST
Huff, Mills earn Minor League awards
Former top Draft picks deliver for Indians' affiliates in 2008
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- In consecutive years, left-hander David Huff and infielder Beau Mills were the Indians' first Draft picks overall. And in 2008, each player had a season that showed he was a high pick for a reason. On Thursday, Huff was selected as the 2008 Bob Feller Award winner as the organization's top Minor League pitcher, and Mills was named the '08 winner of the Lou Boudreau Award as the top Minor League position player in the Indians' farm system. Huff, coming off an eye-catching campaign at Double-A Akron and Triple-A Buffalo, is a name to watch as a potential candidate for the Cleveland rotation in 2009. The 24-year-old Huff began '08 at Akron, where he went 5-1 with a 1.92 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts. He struck out 62 batters and walked 14 in 65 2/3 innings. Following a June 11 promotion to Buffalo, Huff went 6-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 81 and walking 15 in 80 2/3 innings. For the season, Huff, a UCLA product selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, led all Indians Minor League pitchers in ERA (2.52), was second in innings pitched (146 1/3) and strikeouts (143) and tied for fourth in wins (11). His combined .210 average against was the 11th-lowest mark among all full-season Minor League pitchers. Mills, the 13th overall selection in the 2007 Draft, batted .293 with 21 home runs and 90 RBIs for Class A Kinston. He had an .880 OPS in 125 games and was named the Carolina League's Most Valuable Player. The 22-year-old Mills finished the year strong, batting .332 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs over the final 49 games of the season. After the season, Baseball America rated him as the Carolina League's best defensive first baseman and the Indians' No. 5 overall prospect. Mills was a third baseman in college, but now he primarily plays at first.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.