Thunder alums win Kevin Lawn Awards

This release straight from the Yankees…

YANKEES NAME OUTFIELDER AUSTIN JACKSON AND RHP IAN KENNEDY WINNERS OF THE 2007 KEVIN LAWN “PLAYER OF THE YEAR” AND PITCHER OF THE YEAR” AWARDS

The New York Yankees announced today that outfielder Austin Jackson and right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy were named winners of the Yankees’ 2007 Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees’ minor league “Player of the Year” and “Pitcher of the Year.” The two players will receive their awards prior to the Yankees game on Saturday, March 8 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.

The annual awards are dedicated to Kevin O’Brien Lawn, the son of long-time Yankees Vice President and Chief of Operations Jack Lawn, who passed away in 1999. A complete list of past award winners can be found on page 170 of the Yankees’ 2008 Media Guide.

Jackson, 21, combined to bat .304 (151-for-496) with 88R, 21 doubles, 7 triples, 13HR, 59RBI and 33 stolen bases in 128 games at Single-A Charleston, Single-A Tampa and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2007. In January, Baseball America ranked the outfielder the No. 2 prospect–and top position player–in the Yankees organization. He was tied for fourth overall in the organization in stolen bases and led Tampa with 10HR. Jackson also appeared in the playoffs with the Eastern League-champion Trenton Thunder, going 7-for-35 (.200) with one double and 4RBI in eight games. Following the season, he participated in the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League, batting .271 (36-for-133) with 25R and 22RBI in 39 games with the Honolulu Sharks. Jackson reached base safely in 33 games, including a league-high 24 consecutive contests from 10/6-11/9. He tied for the league lead in runs and triples (5), ranked second in extra-base hits (18), tied for third in doubles (10) and stolen bases (8), and ranked fourth in RBI. He was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

Kennedy, 23, saw action at four different levels in 2007 in his first full professional season. In 26 combined games (25 starts) with Single-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he went 12-3 with a 1.91 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 146.2IP, ranking second among Yankees minor leaguers in both ERA and strikeouts. He also held opponents to a .182 batting average, the second-lowest mark among full-season minor leaguers. He was named to Baseball America’s 2007 All-Minor League All-Star team and was tabbed by the publication as the organization’s fourth-best prospect entering the 2008 season. Following a call-up on 9/1, Kennedy went 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts with the Yankees in his Major League debut. Overall, in 29 combined starts in 2007 (minors and Majors), Kennedy held opponents to 3ER or less in all but one start. He was selected by the Yankees in the first round (21st overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Each player will be presented with a trophy designed by C & C Awards as well as a Burberry watch, courtesy of William Barthman Jewelers.

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