Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Duncan named International League MVP

Fellow Yankees teammate Jackson voted Rookie of the Year
September 1, 2009
Shelley Duncan is still hoping for a return to the Majors, but he hasn't exactly been sitting around waiting.

Duncan, who played in 23 games last year in the Bronx, was recognized for his huge season in the Minors on Tuesday when he was voted the International League's 2009 Most Valuable Player.

Reds right-hander Justin Lehr was voted Most Valuable Pitcher and Yankees outfielder Austin Jackson earned Rookie of the Year honors when the league unveiled its postseason All-Star team.

Duncan, New York's second-round pick in 2001, leads the league with 29 homers and 92 RBIs through Aug. 31. One of three outfielders voted to the postseason team, Duncan was also a midseason All-Star and named the IL's Player of the Week on May 4. He began the season hot, hitting .372 with nine homers and 27 RBIs in 18 April games before adding nine longballs and 22 RBIs in 22 contests in May.

Lehr (13-3, 3.31 ERA) began the season with Lehigh Valley, but rejoined his 2008 club, Louisville, when the Phillies dealt him back to the Reds in late May. He won all six of his starts in June and was the league's starting pitcher at the Triple-A All-Star Game in Portland, where he worked a perfect first inning.

Jackson, the Yankees' top outfield prospect, is third in the league with 139 hits and tops the circuit with eight triples. The 22-year-old, batting .293, leads Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with 23 stolen bases.

Louisville skipper Rick Sweet became the first manager to be named International League Manager of the Year in consecutive seasons since Eddie Haas of Richmond in 1981-'82.

Charlotte's Carlos Torres, promoted to Chicago on Tuesday, made the All-Star team as its starting pitcher after going 10-4 with a 2.39 ERA with 130 strikeouts for the Knights. Gwinnett's Luis Valdez was named the league's top reliever.

2009 International League Postseason All-Star Team
Infielders/Utility PlayerDH/Outfielders/Pitchers
CErik KratzIndianapolisDHBarbaro CanizaresGwinnett
1BAndy TracyLehigh ValleyOFJordan BrownColumbus
2BKevin RussoScranton/Wilkes-BarreOFShelley DuncanScranton/Wilkes-Barre
3BAndy MarteColumbusOFJon WeberDurham
SSBrent DlugachToledoSPCarlos TorresCharlotte
UTILDon KellyToledoRPLuis ValdezGwinnett
Most Valuable Player: Shelley Duncan, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Most Valuable Pitcher: Justin Lehr, Lehigh Valley / Louisville
Rookie of the Year: Austin Jackson, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Manager of the Year: Rick Sweet, Louisville

Danny Wild is an editor for