Orioles lead majors with three Topps minor league Players of the Year (Chris Jones note)

The Orioles led all major league organizations today as three of their minor league players were named Topps Players of the Year in the annual George M. Trautman Awards.

Catcher Caleb Joseph of Double-A Bowie was honored for his play in the Eastern League, with catcher Michael Ohlman of Single-A Frederick winning for the Carolina League and first baseman Trey Mancini of short-season Single-A Aberdeen the winner in the New York-Penn League.

The honorees were announced today by Minor League Baseball and the Topps Company. The Orioles’ three winners led all major league organizations, while the Twins, Diamondbacks, Mets and Giants each had two honorees. A total of 10 MLB organizations are represented in all.

The 27-year-old Joseph took his game to another level in 2013. For the Baysox, he hit .299 with 31 doubles, 22 homers and 97 RBIs along with a .494 slugging percentage and .840 OPS. He led all O’s minor leaguers in RBIs, and finished first in the Eastern League in total bases, and second in hits and RBIs. He was fourth in average, homers and extra-base hits.

Ohlman won the Carolina League’s batting title, hitting .313 and winning by one point. Ohlman also finished third in the league with a .410 on-base percentage and first in slugging at .524, which is also a Frederick single-season record. Over 100 Keys games, he had 29 doubles, 13 homers, 53 RBIs and a .934 OPS.

The Orioles’ eighth-round pick in June out of Notre Dame, Mancini hit .328 with 18 doubles, two triples, three homers and 35 RBIs in 68 games for Aberdeen. He posted a .449 slugging percentage, .832 OPS and set an IronBirds team record for hits.

Joseph, currently playing in Venezuela, and Ohlman, currently playing in the Arizona Fall League, both are likely to get consideration to be added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster later this month. Mancini does not yet have to be added to that to be protected in December’s Rule 5 draft.

The honorees are listed here.

Jones note: The Orioles today were expected to add left-handed pitcher Chris Jones to their 40-man roster. He was scheduled to become a minor league free agent at 5 p.m. ET and by adding him before then he would not become a free agent and would remain in the O’s organization.

Jones, who was acquired by the Orioles in April from Atlanta for reliever Luis Ayala, spent most of the 2013 season at Triple-A Norfolk, going 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA in 31 games.

Update: Jones was added to the O’s 40-man and MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko talked to Dan Duquette about that here.

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