by Mike Potter
Former Durham Bulls right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been named Baseball America’s 2010 Minor League player of the year, marking the fourth time since 1996 a Bulls player has taken the honor.
Hellickson (12-3, 2.45) had 123 strikeouts before being recalled to Tampa Bay in August. He pitched for Team USA in the All-Star Futures Game, was selected to the International League’s mid-season and post-season all-star teams and was named the IL’s pitcher of the year.
The Bulls also learned of another honor on Tuesday when veteran outfielder Chris Richard was named batter of the week for the final week of the season. Richard, who is in his fourth season with the club and has the Triple-A franchise career record of 84 homers, hit .360 with three homers, 11 RBI, his league-leading 39th double of the season and his first triple over the season’s final eight days.
Durham, the defending Triple-A National Champion, opens its best-of-5 series in the first round of the Governors’ Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night at Louisville.