Santana was officially named the Eastern League's MVP at the end of the season. The 23-year-old switch-hitter had 30 doubles, two triples and scored 91 runs. He led the league in slugging percentage (.530) and walks (90), was second in home runs, RBI and on-base percentage (.413), and third in runs.
Santana was an Eastern League mid and postseason all-star selection. The native of Venezuela played for the World Team in the Futures Game in St. Louis.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays each had two farmhands honored and 13 farm systems overall are represented.
One of the Tampa Bay players honored, outfielder Desmond Jennings, was drafted by the Indians, but did not sign with Cleveland. The Tribe picked him in the 18th round in 2005, but he also had a football scholarship to Alabama and turned down Cleveland's contract offers.
Jennings, a quarterback in high school, instead went to Itawamba (Miss.) Community College to try and pick up his grades. He switched to wide receiver and led the nation in receiving.
The Rays picked him in the 10th round in 2006 and he took their $150,000 signing bonus and has risen quickly through their farm system.
Jennings was among the Southern League leaders in batting average (.316), stolen bases (37), triples (8), on-base percentage (.395) and slugging percentage (.485) in 2009 despite playing only 100 games before being promoted to Triple-A Durham, where he batted .325 with 15 more steals in 32 games.
2009 TOPPS/MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS-OF-THE-YEAR
Player Club/Organization Pos. AVG HR RBI
Shelley Duncan Scranton/W-B/NY-AL OF .277 30 99
Pacific Coast League
Randy Ruiz Las Vegas/Toronto 1B .320 25 106
Carlos Santana Akron/Cleveland C .290 23 97
Desmond Jennings Montgomery/Tampa Bay OF .316 8 45
Chris Carter Midland/Oakland 1B .337 24 101
Alex Liddi High Desert/Seattle 3B .345 23 104
Brandon Waring Frederick/Baltimore 1B .273 26 90
Florida State League
Austin Romine Tampa/New York-AL C .276 13 72
Dee Gordon Great Lakes/LA-NL SS .301 3 35
South Atlantic League
Jordan Pacheco Asheville/Colorado C .322 13 79
New York-Penn League
Alexander Colome Hudson Valley/TB P (7-4, 1.66 ERA)
Drew Biery Salem-Keizer/SF 3B .326 6 48
Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg Danville/Atlanta 1B .359 8 53
Brian Cavazos-Galvez Ogden/LA-NL OF .322 18 63
Cody Decker Padres/San Diego 1B .354 15 63
Gulf Coast League
Eury Perez Nationals/Washington OF .381 3 24
(Statistics do not include what players did in other leagues in 2009.)