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09/16/2003  3:09 PM ET 
Sporting News names Zack Greinke Player of the Year
Royals Zack Greinke Named Player of the Year; River Cats Tony DeFrancesco named Manger of the Year; Round Rock Express GM Jay Miller named Executive of the Year

St. Louis, MO: September 16, 2003 -- Sporting News has named Kansas City Royals minor league prospect Zack Greinke Minor League Baseball Player of the Year. The right-handed pitching prospect went 15-4 with a 1.93 ERA while splitting the season between Class A Wilmington and Class AA Wichita. Greinke also impressed the baseball world while pitching a perfect inning (while missing the strike zone only once) in the MLB Future Stars Game.

"This year's winners made the selection process incredibly easy," said Sporting News Radio host and minor league baseball insider Kevin Wheeler. "Zack Greinke rarely faltered on the mound, even against more experienced hitters, Jay Miller's Round Rock Express continued their trend of setting Class AA attendance records and Tony DeFrancesco fielded a first place team in his first season as a Class AAA manager while working with several of baseball's top prospects."

In leading his Sacramento River Cats (Oakland A's) to a Class AAA best 92-52 record, Sporting News has named manager Tony DeFrancesco the 2003 Minor League Manager of the Year. While advancing to the Pacific League championship series, DeFrancesco's squad never lost more than three games in a row. DeFrancesco also displayed his sparkling managerial skills in developing a 24-man pitching rotation which included heralded right-handers Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer, who were both called up to the majors earlier this year.

Rounding out the Sporting News 2003 Minor League awards is Class AA Round Rock Express (Houston Astros) general manager Jay Miller, who was named Executive of the Year. Miller also won the award in 2001 and has been named top executive by his league in all three levels. The Express broke their Class AA attendance record for the fourth consecutive season. During the 2003 season, the Express had more than 30 games draw more than 10,000 fans and eleven of those games drew more than 11,000. Sporting News Radio host and minor league baseball insider Kevin Wheeler selected the winners, which will be revealed in the September 22nd issue of the Sporting News, hitting newsstands on September 17th.

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