Laird named EL MVP and ROY
Laird appeared in 107 games with the Thunder this season and batted .291 (119-for-409) with 22 doubles, two triples, 23 home runs, 90 RBI, 73 runs scored, a .355 on-base percentage and a .523 slugging percentage in his first career season at the Double-A level. The 22-year old was rewarded for his performance as a member of the Thunder with a promotion to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees of the Triple-A International League on August 2nd. At the time of his promotion, the 6’1”, 215 lb. slugger was leading the league in total bases (214) and RBI (90). He was also ranked among the league leaders in home runs (23-2nd), hits (119-2nd), games (107-2nd), extra-base hits (47-tied 2nd), runs scored (73-4th) and slugging percentage (.523-5th). Brandon twice tied the Trenton franchise record for RBI in a game during the season. Laird first tied the mark by driving in seven runs on May 16th in a 13-7 win over Binghamton and later equaled the record with seven RBI in an 11-2 win at Erie on June 24th.
Another highlight for Laird came on May 26th when he became the second player in the history of the Trenton franchise to hit for the cycle, completing his cycle with a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 7-6 win against Erie. That performance helped him take home the Eastern League Player of the Week Award for the week ending May 30th. He also was named the Eastern League Player of the Month for the month of May, was a member of the Eastern Division roster at the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game and was selected as the third baseman on the recently announced Eastern League All-Star Team.
Laird is the first Thunder player to win the Eastern League MVP and Rookie of the Year awards. Two Thunder pitchers, Carl Pavano (1996) and Alan Horne (2007), have won the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year Award.
Brandon, who is the younger brother of Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird, was selected by the New York Yankees in the 27th round of the 2007 draft after hitting .366 with 33 doubles, 17 home runs and 97 RBI while playing in 106 of a possible 107 games during two seasons at Cypress College in California.