August 29, 2008 - Southern League (SL) - Birmingham Barons
MARIETTA, Ga. - Birmingham Barons closer Jon Link has been named the Southern League's top reliever, the league office announced Thursday. He was one of 15 players, and the only reliever, named to the league's post-season All-Star team and was the lone Baron selected.
Entering Friday's game at Mobile, Link leads all of Minor League Baseball with 34 saves, just two shy of both the Barons team record and the Southern League record. He holds a 5-4 overall mark and a 3.07 ERA in 55 games of work this season. He has also struck out 65 in 55.2 innings on the mound.
His 34 saves are the second-most in team history, trailing only the 36 recorded by Edwin Almonte in 2001 and matched by Joe Valentine the following season.
A 24-year-old native of Columbus, Ohio, Link was named a mid-season Southern League All-Star as well, and last week was selected as the Barons' Most Valuable Pitcher in a vote by the team's coaches, players, and front office personnel.
Link and the Barons are concluding the regular season with a five-game series at Mobile that began Thursday evening and runs through Labor Day. Birmingham will then take on Mississippi in the first round of the Southern League playoffs, and the opening game is scheduled to be played next Thursday night, September 4, in Birmingham.