ARLINGTON -- Rangers catcher Max Ramirez was named the Rookie of the Year in the Venezuelan Winter League on Tuesday. Ramirez received 35 of 45 first-place votes in becoming only the fifth member of the La Guaira Sharks to win the award. He is also the third player to be named Rookie of the Year after having already made his Major League debut. The others were pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and infielder Ronnie Cedeno. Ramirez played in 50 games for LaGuaira and hit .298 during the regular season with 42 runs scored, 15 home runs and 53 RBIs. The 24-year-old backstop led the league in home runs, was second in RBIs and third in runs scored. He edged out fellow catcher Pablo Sandoval (Giants) in the voting, 199 to 155. Phillies pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco finished a distant third with 30 points, one for each of 30 third-place votes he received.
Ramirez, acquired from the Indians on July 27, 2007, for outfielder Kenny Lofton, played in 17 games with the Rangers in 2008 and hit .217 with two home runs and nine RBIs. In 81 games in the Minor Leagues, Ramirez batted .347 in 285 at-bats with 19 home runs and 57 RBIs while missing three weeks in August with a strained hip flexor.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.