By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates handed out their annual Minor League awards on Friday, with outfielder Robbie Grossman earning Player-of-the-Year honors and Kyle McPherson being named Pitcher of the Year.
Grossman, 22, made headlines late in the year when he became the first Minor Leaguer in seven years to score 100 runs and draw 100 walks in a season. He finished with 127 runs, a total that hadn't been reached by a Minor League player since 1999.
He finished the year with a .294 batting average, 34 doubles, 13 homers and 56 RBIs. All of those numbers were career bests for the switch-hitting Grossman, who was taken in the sixth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
"I was in position to get on base and let the other guys behind me drive me in," said Grossman, who is headed to the Arizona Fall League next month. "I used that to my advantage and just ran with it from there."
McPherson, 23, ended the season as the organizational leader with 142 strikeouts. No Pirates Minor Leaguer had amassed that many since 2006. Among all Pirates Minor League players, McPherson also ranked second in wins (12) and third in ERA (2.96).
"There are a lot of outstanding pitchers in this organization and it's stiff competition all the way up," McPherson said. "You just have to go out there and hope you can separate yourself from them every single day."
The righty split the season between high A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona, and his numbers hardly dipped when he made the jump up. After posting a 2.89 ERA in 12 starts with Bradenton, McPherson had a 3.02 ERA over his 16 starts in Altoona.
McPherson's season was also highlighted by a near no-hitter. He lost that bid with one out in the ninth in his second-to-last start in high A.
"It was the best moment of my career and my life in baseball," McPherson said of that game.