The New York Yankees announced on Friday that outfielder Tyler Austin and relief pitcher Mark Montgomery were named winners of the team’s 2012 Kevin Lawn Award, which goes to the top minor league “Player of the Year” and “Pitcher of the Year.” Both players receive their awards prior to the start of Friday’s Yankees-Marlins game at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Austin, 21, played at four different levels in 2012, ranging from the Gulf Coast League all the way up to Double-A Trenton. During the year, Austin hit .322 with 35 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs and 80 RBI in 110 games. For the second consecutive season, Austin led the Yankees minor league system in batting average. His strong start to the season allowed him to be named as a South Atlantic League All-Star. Austin enters the 2013 campaign ranked by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the New York Yankees farm system.
Montgomery, 22, was by far the most dominant relief pitcher not only in the New York Yankees farm system, but perhaps in all of minor-league baseball. The right-hander split time between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, combining to go 7-2 with 15 saves and a 1.54 ERA in 46 appearances. During the Eastern League postseason, Montgomery made five appearances, holding opponents scoreless through six innings of work while striking out eleven batters. After the season, Montgomery pitches for the Arizona Fall League’s Scottsdale Scorpions, striking out 19 batters in 10.1 innings pitched.
Previous Lawn Award winners currently on the Yankees include Eduardo Nunez, David Phelps, Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Andy Pettitte.
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