The Votes Are In ... The Winners Are ...

Ryan Garko

The Indians announced that catcher-first baseman Ryan Garko and right-hander Adam Miller have been selected as the top prospects in the team's minor-league system.<br><br> Garko, 23, was named the winner of the Lou Boudreau Award, given annually to the top minor-league position player in the organization.<br><br>

Miller, 19, won the Bob Feller Award, which is presented each year to the top pitcher in the farm system.

Garko, in just his second professional season, batted a combined .330 (142-for-430) with 33 doubles, one triple, 22 home runs and 100 RBI between Class A Kinston, Class AA Akron and Class AAA Buffalo. He ranked among all Indians minor leaguers in several offensive categories as he was third in batting average, homers and RBI and fifth in hits (142).

"Ryan had a sensational year and continued to improve while moving up three levels during his first full professional season," said John Farrell, the Indians' director of player development. "He responded to each challenge he was presented with and has the potential with his tremendous ability and work ethic to impact the Major League club in the near future.

"We are very excited about his continued maturation as a hitter, where he has the potential to hit for both power and average."

Garko, drafted in the third round in 2003 out of Stanford, was named to both the Carolina League regular and postseason All-Star Teams, was named Cleveland's Minor League Player of the Year by USA Today and was a second team member of the Minor League Baseball All-Star Team selected by Baseball America.

His numbers improved as the season progressed, batting .328 (78-for-238) with 17 doubles, a triple, 16 homers and 58 RBI in 65 games at Kinston before being promoted to Akron.

While with the Aeros, he hit .331 (57-for-172) with 15 doubles, six homers and 38 RBI in 43 games. In a five-game stint at Triple-A Buffalo, he batted .350 (7-for-20) with four RBI. He then contributed to the Bisons' International League championship run as he hit two homers and drove in four runs in nine playoff games.

Miller, who will turn 20 Nov. 26, went 10-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 27 starts (134 1-3 innings, 108 hits allowed, 40 walks and 152 strikeouts) between Class A teams Lake County and Kinston.

A sandwich pick in the 2003 draft (No. 31 overall) out of McKinney (Texas) High School, Miller started his 2004 season at Lake County going 7-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 19 starts. At Kinston, he went 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA in eight starts -- allowing two or fewer earned runs in each outing.

"Adam had an outstanding season and got stronger as the season transpired," said Farrell. "He is a pitcher who pounds the strike zone and has a fastball that can overpower hitters.

"In just his second season of professional ball at 19 years of age he has made tremendous strides, we are very excited about his future."

Miller also helped Kinston win the Carolina League title, as he did not allow a run while winning both of his playoff starts covering 12 1-3 innings (seven hits allowed, 14 strikeouts).

Miller's 152 strikeouts in the regular season led the entire Indians minor-league system for an average of 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. His 10 wins were tied for the fifth-most in the system and his 2.95 ERA was the fifth lowest ERA.

The Indians' minor-league system had another good year in 2004, as the six farm clubs posted a combined record of 380-324 (.540). The 380 wins were the sixth most in all of Minor League baseball and the .540 winning percentage was fifth best among all 30 Major League organizations.

The organization had four teams (AAA Buffalo, A Kinston, A Mahoning Valley and the Dominican Summer League) win their respective league championship, becoming the first organization since the 1990 Los Angeles Dodgers to have four minor-league champions in one season.

1990: Jim Thome
1991: Manny Ramirez
1992: Ken Ramos
1993: Jim Thome
1994: David Bell
1995: Richie Sexson
1996: Russell Branyan
1997: Sean Casey
1998: Alex Ramirez
1999: Scott Morgan
2000: Billy Munoz
2001: Victor Martinez
2002: Victor Martinez
2003: Grady Sizemore
2004: Ryan Garko

1990: Charles Nagy
1991: Mike Soper
1992: Chad Ogea
1993: John Carter
1994: Steve Kline
1995: Danny Graves
1996: Danny Graves
1997: Marc Deschenes
1998: David Riske
1999: Robert Pugmire
2000: Jason Stanford
2001: Mike Bacsik
2002: Billy Traber
2003: Fausto Carmona
2004: Adam Miller

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