Catricala, Walker top Mariners' honor roll
Prospects named Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year
SEATTLE -- Vinnie Catricala, a 23-year-old third baseman/outfielder, has been named the Mariners' Minor League Player of the Year after batting .349 with 25 home runs and 106 RBIs in Class A and Double-A.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik also announced Monday that right-hander Taijuan Walker, 19, was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year after his strong season at Class A Clinton.
Randy Roetter, the athletic trainer for the club's Arizona League Mariners, was honored with the Player Development Staff of the Year Award.
Catricala, a 10th-round Draft pick out of the University of Hawaii in 2009, finished second among all full-season Minor Leaguers in extra-base hits (77), third in hits (182), tied for third in doubles (48), tied for fourth in batting average and tied for ninth in RBIs.
"Vinnie had an outstanding offensive season combined between High Desert and Jackson," Zduriencik said. "He not only led the organization in many offensive categories, but was one of the top players in all of the Minor Leagues."
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Catricala was named to the California League All-Star team with High Desert before being promoted to Double-A Jackson on June 30, where he hit 11 home runs and 45 RBIs while posting a .347/.420/.632 line in 62 games.
Walker, the Mariners' first Draft pick (Compensation Round, 43rd overall) in 2010, was recently named the top Midwest League prospect last season by Baseball America after going 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 18 starts for Clinton. Walker struck out 113 batters in 96 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .202 batting average.
"Taijuan had a great year in Clinton," Zduriencik said. "He had great command of the ball and was one of the most dominating pitchers in the Midwest League."
Roetter earned the Player Development Staff award after completing his 25th season as a trainer in the organization and 10th in Peoria. Roetter also assists with the club's offseason programs as well as Spring Training, instructional league and Arizona Fall League.
The Mariners also picked a Pitcher and Player of the Year at each Minor League club. Those awards went to:
Triple-A Tacoma -- Blake Beavan (RHP) and Alex Liddi (3B)
Double-A Jackson -- Andrew Carraway (RHP) and Catricala
Class A High Desert -- Chris Sorce (RHP) and Danny Carroll (OF)
Class A Clinton -- Walker and Stefen Romero (INF-OF)
Short-A Everett -- Jose Campos (RHP) and Jabari Blash (OF)
Rookie Pulaski -- Angel Raga (RHP) and Jamal Austin (OF)
Rookie AZL Mariners -- Yunior DeJesus (RHP) and Phillips Castillo (OF)
Dominican DSL Mariners -- Domingo Brazoban (RHP) and Janelfry Zorrilla (OF)
Venezuelan VSL Mariners -- Isliexel Gonzalez (RHP) and Felipe Burin (3B)
The club also selected High Desert teammates Daniel Carroll and Willy Kesler as co-winners of the 2011 John Ellis Award for community service and the entire High Desert squad as the top overall team in off-field commitment.
Kesler, a 24-year-old pitcher, led the team with 24 hours of community service, participating in coaching clinics, school assemblies and autograph sessions. He also volunteered as a coach in a softball game that pitted sixth-grade students against their teachers.
Carroll, a 22-year-old outfielder, made multiple appearances in the Mavericks Kids Club and also spoke to numerous high-school baseball teams that attended High Desert games.