Dodgers hand out Minor League awards

Dodgers hand out Minor League awards

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers presented awards on behalf of Dodgers Dugout to three of their best farmhands on Monday.

Outfielder Xavier Paul received the Jim and Dearie Mulvey Award as the top rookie in big league Spring Training. The 24-year-old Paul is batting .333 with one home run, 13 RBIs and 13 runs scored in 29 games. Because of an outfielder traffic jam, he's headed back to Triple-A for a second year. The Mulveys were owners of the Dodgers from 1938 to 1944.

Infielder Tony Delmonico was presented the Guy Wellman Award as last year's rookie of the year. A sixth-round pick in 2008 out of Florida State, Delmonico hit .340 at Rookie-advanced Ogden.

James McDonald won the Ben Wade Award as last year's Minor League pitcher of the year. McDonald spent most of last season at Double-A, was promoted for a month to Triple-A and finished the year pitching in the postseason for the Dodgers. He is likely to be named the Dodgers' fifth starter for the opening of the season. Wade is the late Dodgers pitcher and scouting director.

Shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr. won the Bill Schweppe Award as the Minor League player of the year. DeJesus hit .324 in a breakout Double-A season and was likely headed to Triple-A this year, but he suffered a fractured leg in a home-plate collision during a "B" game earlier this spring and received his award on crutches.

DeJesus said the discomfort is easing in his leg and he has a doctor's appointment Wednesday, when he hopes to learn when he can shed the crutches. He said he's putting "30 to 40 percent" weight on the leg and the swelling has gone down.

Originally, DeJesus was told he would miss the entire 2009 season. He predicts he'll resume baseball activities in May and be playing "probably by the All-Star Game." To stabilize the leg, a rod was inserted permanently.

"The first two weeks I was a little bit down," said the former second-round pick and son of the former Major League infielder of the same name. "People say I'll miss the whole season. That's wrong. I'm coming back stronger, with more confidence. I'm coming back hungry."

DeJesus said the injury occurred when he was scoring, believing there would be no play, only for the throw to come through. He said he didn't see any teammate instructing him to slide and at the last second he was caught between standing up and sliding, colliding into the catcher's shin guard.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.