The 2014 Portland Sea Dogs, who finished with the best record in franchise history, have been named the Minor League Team of the Year by Baseball America.

It marks the first time in their 21-year history that the Sea Dogs received the publication’s honor. Portland was chosen from among 120 teams that play a full season at the Class A, Double-A and Triple-A levels. The Sea Dogs play in the Double-A Eastern League.

The 2014 team was loaded with promising Boston Red Sox prospects. Even as those prospects kept getting promoted to higher levels, Portland continued to win, compiling a record of 88-54. Fourteen Sea Dogs reached the Triple-A level, and two of them (infielder Carlos Rivera and infielder/outfielder Mookie Betts) reached the major leagues.

According to the publication, the 2014 Sea Dogs were “a prospect-laden team on which virtually every player seemed to blossom.”

The Sea Dogs won the league’s East Division, but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, three games to two, by the Binghamton Mets.

Pitcher Henry Owens (14-4, 2.60 ERA) was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Year, and Portland’s Billy McMillon was the league’s Manager of the Year in his first season.

Portland is only the fourth Eastern League team to receive the award since 1993. Previous winners were Akron (2002 and 2009), Trenton (1999) and Harrisburg (1993). The 1999 Trenton team was also a Red Sox affiliate. Boston moved its Double-A team from Trenton to Portland in 2003.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter:@ClearTheBases