Casey Coleman (PHOTO/RENNIE LEON)
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today announced outfielder Kyler Burke and right-handed pitcher Casey Coleman have been named the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. The two will be honored during an on-field ceremony prior to Chicago ’s 12:05 p.m. CT game against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, October 3 at Wrigley Field.
Burke, 21, batted .303 (141-for-465) with 43 doubles, three triples, 15 homers, 89 RBI, 78 walks, 93 runs scored and a .405 on-base percentage in 132 games for Single-A Peoria. He led the Midwest League in doubles, was second in on-base percentage and extra-base hits (61), third in runs scored and slugging percentage (.505), tied for third in RBI and sixth in batting average.
A left-handed batter and fielder, Burke hit .358 (68-for-190) in his final 53 contests to lift his batting average from .265 on July 8 to his season-ending .303 mark. His 43 doubles were second-most by a left-handed hitter in minor league baseball. Additionally, he was named to the Midwest League Post-Season All-Star Team while helping Peoria to 81 regular season victories – second-most in franchise history (85 in 2002) – and a post-season berth.
Burke batted .307 (107-for-348) with 14 homers against right-handed pitching, had a .291 average (34-for-117) against lefties and posted a .298 average (42-for-141) with runners in scoring position. He played 68 games in right field, 29 in left field, 28 in center field and 10 at first base – his 14 outfield assists led the Cubs farm system.
Originally selected by San Diego in the sandwich round (35th overall) of the 2006 Draft, Burke was acquired by Chicago , along with catcher Rob Bowen, June 20, 2007 for catcher Michael Barrett.
In just his second professional season, Coleman went 14-6 with a 3.68 ERA (61 ER/149.0 IP) in 27 starts for Double-A Tennessee , helping the club to the Southern League North Division title. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder tied for the league lead in victories, surrendered two or fewer walks in 18 of his starts and tossed 6.0 or more innings 13 times. He was named to the Southern League All-Star Team after finishing the first half 9-4 with a 2.93 ERA (32 ER/98.1 IP) in 17 starts.
Coleman, 22, was named a mid-season Southern League All-Star and was awarded Pitcher of the Week honors for June 29-July 5. He twice produced a monthly ERA below three runs, including a 2.74 mark (7 ER/23.0 IP) and a 3-1 record in four April games. Coleman was 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA (9 ER/38.0 IP) in six June starts and went on to win five of his final eight starts to close out the regular season.
The righthander won Game Two of the Smokies playoff series against Huntsville on Friday, allowing just one run in 7.2 innings pitched en route to a 3-1 victory.
In 2008, Coleman combined to go 4-3 with a 3.11 ERA (19 ER/55.0 IP) in 13 games (10 starts) at the Single-A level between Boise , Peoria and Daytona. He issued just 13 free passes compared to 44 strikeouts.
Coleman was selected by Chicago in the 15th round of the 2008 Draft on the recommendation of area scout Rolando Pino. Coleman’s father, Joe, pitched professionally from 1965-1979, including a trip to the 1972 All-Star Game with the Tigers. His grandfather, also named Joe, had a 10-year major league pitching career (1942-1955), including All-Star honors in 1948 with the Philadelphia Athletics.