Kipnis, White Receive Top Honors





CLEVELAND—Despite a rare slump that left Double-A Akron out of the playoffs for the first time since 2010, a pair of Aeros received top honors from the Indians' organization.

Jason Kipnis received the Tribe's Lou Boudreau award winner as the Indians' top minor league position player, while the Indians honored righthander Alex White as the Bob Feller award winner as the team's top minor league pitcher.

In his first full pro season, Kipnis, 23, hit .307/.386/.492 in 133 games between high Class A Kinston and Double-A Akron.

"He is really the whole package offensively," Indians farm director Ross Atkins said.
After the end of the Aeros' season, Kipnis joined Triple-A Columbus for its playoff run and batted .455 (10-for-22) with seven extra-base hits, but he may best be remembered for hitting for the cycle in Columbus' 13-2 rout over Durham in the series-clinching Governors' Cup championship.

In all, Kipnis led the entire Indians minor league system in hits (159) and runs scored (96) and was tied for third in triples (eight), fourth in doubles (32) and tied for fifth in homers (16) and RBIs (74).

White, the 15th overall pick in the 2009 draft, led the system in innings (150 2/3), was second in ERA (2.45) and was sixth in strikeouts (117) at age 22. He joined Akron at the end of May after going 2-3, 2.86 over eight starts with Kinston, then posted an 8-7, 2.28 mark in 18 games with the Aeros. His ERA would have led the Eastern League if he had pitched enough innings.

Some Indians brass immediately tabbed him as a reliever when he was drafted. White admitted this past season he used that thought "as motivation to prove I could start."

White proved it and more, as Atkins said of White: "We could not be more encouraged about his chance to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter or even better."

SMOKE SIGNALS

• The Indians acquired righthander Andrew Shive and infielder Matt Cusick from the Yankees to complete the July 31 trade that sent righthander Kerry Wood to New York.  

• Columbus is scheduled to host an exhibition game against the Indians' major league club on March 30. The event marks the first time the two teams will have played in Columbus, which will begin its third year as an Indians affiliate after recently extending their agreement through 2014.