(PR) The New York Yankees today announced that outfielder Brett Gardner and left-handed pitcher Phil Coke were named winners of the Yankees’ 2008 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 today vs. the Minnesota Twins.
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. The Yankees are proud to welcome Jack and his wife, Virginia, to George M. Steinbrenner Field today.
Gardner, 25, appeared in 94 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2008, batting .296 (101-for-341) with 12 doubles, 11 triples, three home runs, 32 RBI and 37 stolen bases. He led all Yankees minor leaguers in stolen bases and tied for fourth in batting average. Gardner also had two stints with the Yankees in 2008, combining to bat .228 (29-for-117) with five doubles, two triples, 16 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 42 games (17 starts). He became just the third Yankee since 1938 to steal five bases within his first nine Major League games, joining Mickey Rivers and Bobby Abreu (credit: Elias). Following the season, he was named to Baseball America’s Triple-A All-Star team and was tabbed by the publication as having the International League’s “Best Strikezone Judgment” as well as being the IL’s “Best Baserunner.”
Coke, 26, combined at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to go 11-6 with a 2.79 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 37 games (21 starts) in 2008. The lefthander ranked third among Yankees farmhands in strikeouts, fourth in wins and sixth in ERA. He was selected to the Eastern League’s postseason All-Star team as the league’s top left-handed pitcher after ranking second on the circuit in ERA (2.51). As a September callup by the Yankees, Coke went 1-0 and allowed only one earned run in 14.2 innings pitched (0.61 ERA), including 11.2 scoreless innings over his first 10 Major League outings. Following the season, he was ranked as the organization’s eighth-best prospect by Baseball America.
Each player will be presented with a trophy designed by C & C Awards as well as a Raymond Weil watch, courtesy of William Barthman Jewelers.