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Gary Brown Named 2011 California League Rookie of the Year

August 31, 2011 - California League (CalL) San Jose Giants

SAN JOSE, CA - Center fielder Gary Brown has been named California League Rookie of the Year to highlight four San Jose Giants selections to the postseason All-Star team as announced today by the league. Catcher Tommy Joseph and pitcher Craig Westcott also garnered recognition while pitching coach Brian Cooper was selected as California League Coach of the Year.

Brown has enjoyed a standout first full professional season with the Giants. Entering Wednesday's action, Brown leads the California League in hits (180) and triples (13) while he's second in runs scored (106) and third in stolen bases (49). Brown also boasts the third-highest batting average in the league at .338 to go with 33 doubles, 12 home runs and 78 RBI's in 125 games.

A 2010 first round draft pick, Brown was one of three outfielders in the league selected to the postseason All-Star team. Earlier this year, Brown was named to the midseason California League All-Star team while also participating in the Major League Futures Game. Brown has already set the San Jose Giants single-season record for hits and is batting at a .393 (44-for-112) clip with six triples and four home runs during the month of August.

Joseph was the lone catcher in the league chosen for the postseason All-Star team. The 20-year-old backstop currently owns a .266 batting average, 32 doubles, 20 home runs and 87 RBI's over 121 games. Joseph leads the Giants in home runs and RBI's while he's third in hits and doubles. The slugger has hit 14 of his 20 home runs since the All-Star break and is finishing the year strong with a .314 batting average in August. Joseph has also excelled defensively having thrown out a league-best 39 percent of attempted base stealers.

Westcott has anchored the Giants starting rotation all season and currently leads the California League in wins (13-4) and ERA (3.15). He is one of four pitchers in the league selected to the postseason All-Star squad. Westcott has issued only 27 walks in 151 1/3 innings pitched this year to go with 87 strikeouts. He's allowed no earned runs in nine of his 23 starts and has pitched at least seven innings on 13 occasions. During a critical stretch at the end of the first half, Westcott fashioned a 0.26 ERA (1 ER/34.1 IP) and 4-0 record over five starts to help the Giants to the North Division title.

Cooper has overseen the San Jose pitching staff to earn the award as the top coach in the California League this season. The first-year Giants pitching coach has directed the club to a league-best 3.55 ERA. San Jose has also thrown 14 shutouts this season to rank tied for first in all of Minor League Baseball. Under Cooper's leadership, the Giants boast three out of the top five pitchers in the league in ERA: Westcott (1st, 3.15), Chris Heston (3rd, 3.43) and Kelvin Marte (5th, 3.47). Midseason California League All-Star Heath Hembree still leads the California League in saves with 21 even with a promotion to Double-A Richmond over two months ago.

Cooper spent parts of six seasons in the big leagues with the Anaheim Angels (1999-2001), Toronto Blue Jays (2002) and San Francisco Giants (2004-05). He retired from his playing career in 2007 and joined San Francisco's staff as a pitching coach for the rookie-level AZL-Giants the following year before two seasons in the same role with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-Season).

The Giants are currently 87-47 this year with only six games remaining in the regular season. San Jose has already clinched the top overall record in the California League and will open the postseason on Saturday, September 10 with Game One of the best-of-five North Division Series at Municipal Stadium. San Jose is attempting to become the first team in California League history to win three consecutive championships.

The San Jose Giants continue their road trip at Bakersfield tonight at 7:30 PM. The Giants return home Friday, September 2 at 7:00 PM for a four-game homestand against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at Municipal Stadium. For more information or tickets visit sjgiants.com or call (408) 297-1435.

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California League Stories from August 31, 2011


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