VandenHurk named Tribes' 2012 MVP

Rick VandenHurk

Right-handed starter Rick VandenHurk has been named the Tribe's 2012 Most Valuable Player after posting a 12-5 record and 3.07 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) for the Indianapolis Indians.

Additionally, RHP Tim Wood (Henry Smock Relief Pitcher of the Year), LHP Jeff Locke (Starting Pitcher of the Year), INF Anderson Hernandez (Defensive Player of the Year) and OF Brandon Boggs (Offensive Player of the Year) will all be honored for season-long accomplishments. INF Brock Holt has been named the Indians August Player of the Month.

VandenHurk joined the Indians in mid-May and sandwiched a pair of relief appearances around his first start before joining the rotation full-time on May 31. Across his first 10 appearances, VandenHurk won each of his first eight decisions. As of Wednesday, his 12 wins ranked in a five-way tied for the second-most in the International League.

A native of Einhoven, Netherlands, VandenHurk is tied with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RHP Ramon Ortiz for the most wins in all of Triple-A baseball since his Indians debut on May 14. His 107 strikeouts are the most in the league since his debut and his 3.07 ERA is the fifth-best in the IL this season.

VandenHurk is projected to start for Indianapolis tonight against the Toledo Mud Hens. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

Wood, the Henry Smock Relief Pitcher of the Year, has spent the past two seasons building his argument for consideration as one of the greatest closers in Indianapolis Indians history. In 2012, Wood had appeared in 54 games through Thursday and recorded 21 saves, both of which rank second in the IL.

Overall, Wood is 6-6 with a 2.19 ERA this season, which ranks second on the team among full-time relievers. In the past two seasons with the Indians, Wood is 8-6 with 44 saves, posting a 2.44 ERA (31 earned runs in 114.1 innings pitched).

On Tuesday morning, it was announced that Wood had been named to the IL postseason all-star team along with former Tribe OF Starling Marte. Wood is the first two-time postseason all-star as a reliever since the league began including the award in 1978. In early August, Baseball America named Wood the IL' s Best Reliever.

Locke, the Tribe's Starting Pitcher of the Year, is 10-5 with a 2.48 ERA, the third-best in the IL among starters. As of Wednesday, his 24 starts were the second-most on the team, as were his 131 strikeouts.

The southpaw also spent a brief stint in the major leagues, making a pair of relief appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates, posting no record and a 0.00 ERA. Locke has been especially effective in three starts since returning from the bigs, going 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA, issuing just five walks and recording 18 strikeouts.

For the second year in a row, a Hernandez is the Tribe's Defensive Player of the Year. Last year, it was former Indians outfielder Gorkys Hernandez being honored for his jaw-dropping range and impressive arm; this year, Anderson Hernandez is being honored for his versatility.

Hernandez spent most of the season at second base but also played significant numbers of games at third base and shortstop and even made one start in left field. In 96 defensive games through Thursday, Hernandez posted a .970 fielding percentage and helped turn a team-high 40 double plays.

Another player being honored for his versatility is Boggs, the Offensive Player of the Year. Boggs has played the most games out of anyone on the team -- 123 as of Thursday -- and batted in all but one slot in the batting order, only never being slipped into the No. 2 hole. Boggs also played all three outfield positions and designated hitter and even made one appearance on the mound, his first since high school, throwing a perfect inning against the Pawtucket Red Sox on June 5.

As of Thursday, Boggs had batted .262 on the season and ranked first among all Indians players in walks (58), third in runs scored (61), hits (104) and RBI (55), tied for second in doubles (24) and triples (five) and tied for third in home runs (nine).

In addition to those players receiving awards for their season-long excellence, newcomer Holt will be honored as the Tribe's August Player of the Month. Holt made his Triple-A debut on August 7 and has not stopped hitting since.

In 23 games for the Indians as of Thursday, Holt had batted .440 (40-for-91 with seven doubles, one home run, seven RBI, 12 runs scored and four stolen bases. Since his debut, Holt leads all of Triple-A baseball in hits and ranks second among all minor leaguers.

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