BayBears name Player of the Year awards

The Mobile BayBears, the San Diego Padres Double-A affiliate in the Southern League, announced its Player of the Year awards, awarding the Player of the Year, MVP, Pitcher of the Year, Most Popular Player, and Community Service Award.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Luis Cruz - After being selected to the Futures Game and Southern League All-Star Game in July, Cruz now adds a post-season award, being selected as the BayBears 2006 Player of the Year. Through the first 134 games, Cruz was batting .261 with 12 home runs and a team leading 65 RBI's.

MVP: Stephen Smitherman - After being signed by the Padres months into the 2006 season, Smitherman added punch to the BayBears lineup and has been selected as the team MVP this season. The Oklahoma native leads the team with 19 home runs, good enough for fifth in the league. Smitherman made his Major League debut in 2003 with the Cincinnati Reds.

PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Sean Thompson - The only BayBears pitcher to make the All-Star team, Thompson's strong second half sealed the Pitcher of the Year Award for 2006. Thompson made all 26 starts this season with one remaining, and has a 6-9 record with a 3.56 ERA. The Colorado native is on the San Diego Padres 40-man roster.

MOST POPULAR PLAYER: Drew Macias - The only outfielder to play with Mobile from start to finish in 2006, Macias has been selected as the 2006 Most Popular BayBear Player. Macias was also a mid-season Southern League All-Star, and is hitting .258 with seven home runs and 46 RBI's.

COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Jose Oyervidez - Each year the BayBears honor a player who donated his time to the Mobile community during their season. This year, Oyervidez joined others in many community appearances, and was in important part of the 2006 BayBears baseball camp. Oyervidez is the recipient of the 2006 BayBears Community Service Award.

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