Archive for Awards

Sep
10

2013 Minor League Awards

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Chase the Bat Dog passed away this year. (MiLB.com)

Chase the Bat Dog passed away at age 13 this year. (MiLB.com)

To call this a disappointing year for the farm system would probably be an understatement. Many top prospects either got hurt or underperformed while just handful had true breakout seasons. An excellent draft with three first round picks will help their overall rankings, but Hal Steinbrenner was right to hold a staff meeting last month to figure out why the team’s farm system has been so unproductive. Hard to think of another team that gets less out of more in terms of prospects.

For the first time in at least 30 years, the Yankees seven domestic minor league affiliates combined for a losing record (373-381, .495) this season. Double-A Trenton opens the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series tonight, but the only other affiliate to make the postseason was the Rookie GCL Yanks2, who were bounced in the one-game playoff before the title round. Thankfully, minor league win-loss records mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things — organizational players decide things far more than the prospects do — but it is symbolic of the farm system in general. Things aren’t looking too good.

As a reminder, these awards have nothing to do with prospect status. They are not a ranking or anything like that. They’re just a recognition of players who had great years regardless of age or anything like that. Pure production with potential takes a back seat. In order to keep things interesting, the Player of the Year is not eligible for the Hitter or Pitcher of the Year awards. It would be pretty redundant otherwise. Here are my 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 awards posts for reference. Onto the awards:

Minor League Player of the Year: 1B Greg Bird
Although he was a just fifth round pick, the Yankees gave Bird the largest signing bonus ($1.1M) of any player in their 2011 draft class. A back injury slowed the start of his career and forced him out from behind the plate, but the 20-year-old responded by having one of the very best seasons in all of minor league baseball this year. He hit a whopping .288/.428/.511 in 573 plate appearances for Low-A Charleston this year, which works out to a 170 wRC+ that was the eighth best in all of the minors (not counting the unaffiliated Mexican League). Among players with at least 300 plate appearances, Bird led the farm system in OBP, OPS, wRC+, and walks (107) while ranking second in total bases (234) and third in hits (132), doubles (36). and homers (20). It was arguably the best offensive season by a Yankees prospect since Nick Johnson in 1999 and more than worthy of the Player of the Year award.

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Categories : Minors
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Ivan Nova has been named the AL’s Pitcher of the Month for August, the league announced. He’s the first Yankee hurler to win the award since CC Sabathia in July 2011 (I think). Nova had a 2.08 ERA and 3.08 FIP in 43.1 innings across six starts last month and has taken over as the team’s de facto ace with Hiroki Kuroda hitting a wall. Congrats to Ivan.

Categories : Asides
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Unsurprisingly, Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera was named the MVP of the AL tonight and it wasn’t all that close. He received 22 of 28 first place votes (362 pts) and Mike Trout (281 pts) finished a distant second. For shame. Robinson Cano (149 pts) finished fourth behind Miggy, Trout, and Adrian Beltre (210 pts). Derek Jeter (73 pts) finished seventh, which does not trigger the $2M escalator for his 2014 player option. There are still enough bonuses available for him to max that thing out at $17M, though. Rafael Soriano (one eighth and one ninth place vote) and Raul Ibanez (one tenth place vote!) also received votes while Hiroki Kuroda got shutout. I was hoping he’s grab a vote or ten, but oh well.

On the NL side of things, Buster Posey (422 pts) beat out the trio of Ryan Braun (285 pts), Andrew McCutchen (245 pts), and Yadier Molina (241 pts) pretty handily. There were like, six guys who could have legitimately won that award, but no one noticed because of the Trout-Miggy stuff. The full ballots are here (AL, NL), and the awards season is mercifully over. On to the hot stove.

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Future Yankee David Price and current Met R.A. Dickey won the Cy Young awards in their respectively leagues tonight, the BBWAA announced. Price very narrowly beat out Justin Verlander while Dickey won in a landslide over Clayton Kershaw. He’s the first knuckleballer in history to win the award. That surprised me.

I thought CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, or maybe even Rafael Soriano would grab a down-ballot vote or two, but alas. No Yankee received a vote. The full voting results are here (AL, NL). The MVP awards will be announced tomorrow night, and Robinson Cano is one of five finalists for the AL trophy. Derek Jeter figures to finish in the top ten as well, plus the down-ballot votes are always fun.

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Athletics manager Bob Melvin and Nationals manager Davey Johnson were named the Manager of the Year award winners tonight, the BBWAA announced. Melvin received 16 first place votes and beat out Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who received 12. That surprised me, but Melvin was certainly deserving given his club’s late-season run to the AL West title. Joe Girardi received five third place votes and finished fifth in the voting.

Johnson received 23 first place votes and finished well ahead of second place Dusty Baker. It’s his second Manager of the Year award and he obviously has New York ties thanks to the 1986 Mets. Here is the full voting for the AL and NL. The Cy Young awards will be announced tomorrow, but no Yankees are among the finalists. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and even Rafael Soriano could draw votes though.

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Unsurprisingly, Mike Trout was unanimously named the AL Rookie of the Year tonight. Yoenis Cespedes and Yu Darvish finished a distant second and third, respectively. David Phelps, who was the Yankees only notable rookie this season, didn’t receive any votes. Neither did Jesus Montero. Not much surprise there, it was a very strong class and those two simply weren’t good enough to garner votes.

On the NL side of the things, Bryce Harper narrowed beat out Wade Miley to become the youngest position player Rookie of the Year in baseball history. New Jersey native Todd Frazier finished the distant third. The full voting can be found here (AL and NL). The Manager of the Year awards will be handed out tomorrow night, and we already know that Joe Girardi isn’t one of the three finalists.

Categories : Asides
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Both Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano took him the Silver Slugger Awards for being the top offensive players at their respective positions, the league announced tonight. It’s Jeter’s fifth (2006-2009) and Cano’s fourth (2006, 2010-2011) Silver Slugger, and both were obviously well-deserving. No shenanigans here. The full list of winners can be found here.

For Jeter, the award triggers an escalator clause in his contract that raises the value of his 2014 player option by $1.5M. That sucker started out at $8M and is now worth $9.5M, and there are still enough escalators in play that would allow him to max it out at $17M.

Categories : Asides
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Nov
07

Cano among five AL MVP finalists

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MLB (and I guess the BBWAA) is trying to generate more buzz for their end-of-season hardware, so they’re now naming finalists for each major award in advance of the winner actually being announced. Got it? Good. Robinson Cano is one of five AL MVP finalists, joining Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, and Josh Hamilton. I could easily see him finishing anywhere from third through fifth, but he won’t win. Miggy clinched that with the Triple Crown.

Here are the rest of the award finalists. The Yankees didn’t place anyone in the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year races while Joe Girardi did not make the Manager of the Year cut. None of that is surprising. Derek Jeter wasn’t able to sneak into the MVP top five, but I bet he still finishes in the top ten. All of the major awards will be announced next week.

Categories : Asides
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Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano have won the AL Gold Glove Awards at first and second base, respectively. Cano beat out the Dustins (Ackley and Pedroia) while Teixeira beat out Eric Hosmer and the since-traded Adrian Gonzalez. It’s Robbie’s second Gold Glove (2010) and Tex’s fifth (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010). Congrats to both.

Russell Martin was nominated for the Gold Glove at catcher, but Matt Wieters deservingly took home the award. No other Yankees were nominated. The full list of winners can be found here.

Categories : Asides, Defense
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Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, and Robinson Cano have been announced as finalists for the Gold Glove Award at their respective positions. Martin is up against Alex Avila, Matt Wieters, and A.J. Pierzynski while Cano will compete with the Dustins — Pedroia and Ackley. Teixeira is up against Eric Hosmer and Adrian Gonzalez, who I assume won’t win since he was traded to the Dodgers in August.

I’m surprised Derek Jeter isn’t a finalist at shortstop considering how well he hit this year. Gold Gloves are more of a popularity contest than an actual measure of defensive excellence. Anyway, the awards will be announced tomorrow night.

Categories : Asides
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