The International League just announced the selection of Durham Bull outfielder Russ Canzler as 2011 Most Valuable Player. Here's the text:
Russ Canzler has been named the International League Most Valuable Player for 2011. The former 30th round draft pick had never played above the Double-A level before signing with Tampa Bay as a free agent this past offseason. Having seen significant time at third base, first base, left field, and right field, the versatile Canzler has made his biggest contributions for Durham at the plate. He is 4th in the International League with a .312 average to go along with 18 home runs and 79 RBI. His 61 extra-base hits, 77 runs scored, 241 total bases, and .533 slugging percentage are all tops in the IL. In July, Canzler was elected as the starting third baseman for the IL at the Triple-A All-Star Game, where his three-run home run was the difference in the 3-0 contest. He is just the second IL player ever to win Top Star honors at the Triple-A All-Star Game and the League MVP award in the same season, following in the footsteps of another Durham Bull, Kevin Witt in 2006. Canzler is the fifth Durham player to win IL Most Valuable Player honors, along with Steve Cox in 1999, Toby Hall in 2001, Witt in 2006, and Dan Johnson last season.
Ya-Hoo! Well-Done Russ!
Now, let's see if we can get you on the 40-man and some playing time with the Rays this year.