Archive for Awards
For the first time in his career, Mark Teixeira has won the Fielding Bible Award at first base for his defensive skills. Albert Pujols had won the award five times in the last six years, but he finished third in the voting behind Tex and Adrian Gonzalez in 2012. Teixeira received 95 of 100 possible points in the scoring system and was probably long overdue for this award, which I feel is a far better representation of defensive ability than Gold Gloves. Tex has a few of those already.
The Arizona Fall League season begins next week, so minor league baseball will resume soon enough. Until then, here is a collection of news and motes from the bush leagues…
- Via Matt Eddy, the Yankees have re-signed RHP Matt Daley. They originally signed the Queens-born reliever last December, but he missed the entire season rehabbing his shoulder after having rotator cuff surgery last August. Daley, 30, had a decent three-year run as an up-and-down arm for the Rockies from 2008-2010, pitching to a 4.71 ERA (3.86 FIP) in 80.1 innings.
- Also via Eddy, the Yankees have signed LHP Abel Mora. The Padres released the 20-year-old Manhattan native in May. Mora posted a 52/22 K/BB in 54.1 innings down in the Dominican Summer League last year, though I can’t seem to find much else about him. I suppose there’s a chance he’s something more than filler given his age and left-handedness, however.
- RHP Adam Warren won the Minor League Gold Glove Award for pitchers. There is just one award at each position for the entire minor leagues, so this isn’t one of those things they break up by level or league. Congrats to Warren.
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs posted a recap of Double-A Trenton players he saw late in the season, including OF Zoilo Almonte, OF Ramon Flores, RHP Mark Montgomery, and LHP Nik Turley. The player who received the highest praise is a former personal fave who has missed lots of time due to injury in recent years, RHP Graham Stoneburner. He’s Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter and Hulet likes his potential as a reliever because his fastball runs all over the place and he’s aggressive on the mound. Make sure you check it out.
Ichiro Suzuki has been named the AL Player of the Week, the league announced. He turned back the clock to the Ichiro! days by going 15-for-25 (.600) with three doubles, two homers, and six steals (in six attempts) in the club’s six games. It’s his fourth Player of the Week award and first with the Yankees, so congrats to him.
Mark Teixeira has been named the Yankees nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award, the team announced. The award is given annually to the player who most helps his community through charity work and his club on the field. Derek Jeter won the award back in 2009. Each team has a nominee for the award, and you can vote here to help decide the winner. The Clemente Award is a pretty big deal, so congrats to Teixeira for being nominated.
The 2012 minor league season officially came to an end for the Yankees’ organization over the weekend, closing out a decidedly negative season for the farm system. Top prospects got hurt, others disappointed, and few stepped up their game and raised their prospect stock. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, this season took a lot of luster out of the minor league system.
Although none of the six domestic affiliates were able to capture their league title, Double-A Trenton did play in the Championship Series. Triple-A Empire State spent the entire season on the road due to extensive renovations to PNC Field in Scranton, but they still managed to win their division for the fifth time in six years. That was particularly impressive. All told, the six stateside affiliates combined for a 366-326 record (.529), at least the 30th consecutive season they’ve put together a combined winning record.
These awards are not intended to be any kind of prospect ranking. It’s just a recognition of who had strong years in the minors regardless of their age or prospect status. Once a year it’s worth it to just sit back and appreciate what the fellas did this season. Here are my 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 awards post for reference. Just as a reminder, the Player of the Year is disqualified from the Pitcher and Hitter of the Year awards just the shake things up. Nothing personal.
Minor League Player of the Year: OF Tyler Austin
I mentioned earlier that very few players stepped up and raised their prospect stock this summer, but Austin was the overwhelming exception. The club’s 13th round pick in 2010 hit .322/.400/.559 with 17 homers and 23 steals (in 25 chances) while advancing from Low-A Charleston to High-A Tampa, plus he also made a late-season cameo with Double-A Trenton. Among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances, Austin led the system in AVG, SLG, OPS (.960), and doubles (35). The 21-year-old did all of that while learning a new position, moving off third base permanently and settling into right field. A concussion did shelve him for a month, but otherwise Austin dominated the most advanced pitching he’s ever faced and put himself on the fast track to the big leagues. He was simply marvelous from start to finish.
Via Mike Ashmore, Austin Romine and D.J. Mitchell have named the 2011 Kevin Lawn Award winners. That’s a fancy way of saying they were named the Yankees’ minor league hitter and pitcher of the year for last season. Romine produced a .332 wOBA in 85 Double-A games last year before brief promotions to Triple-A and the big leagues. He also won the award in 2009. Mitchell pitched to a 3.18 ERA (3.96 FIP) in a farm system-leading 161.1 IP for Triple-A Scranton last summer. Congrats to both.
The final award of the 2011 season has been announced, and Ryan Braun is your NL MVP. He received 20 of 32 first place votes, and is the first Brewer to win the award since Robin Yount in 1989. I think Matt Kemp should have won, but playing on a non-contender hurt his chances. He finished second and received ten first place votes. Former Yankees farmhands Ian Kennedy and John Axford received a bunch of down ballot votes. The full results are available on the BBWAA’s site.
The AL Cy Young Award wasn’t enough. Justin Verlander was named the MVP of the American League today, receiving 13 of 28 first place votes. He’s the first pitcher to win the award since Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and the first starting pitcher to win the award since Roger Clemens in 1986. He’s also the first Tiger to be named MVP since Willie Hernandez in 1984.
Curtis Granderson was the Yankees’ best player all season, and was rewarded for his efforts with a fourth place finish in the voting. He received three first place votes and finished with 215 points, trailing only Verlander (280), Jacoby Ellsbury (242), and Jose Bautista (231). The top five finish triggers an escalator clause in his contract, raising the value of his 2013 option from $14M to $15M. Robinson Cano finished sixth in the voting with 112 points, though he did not receive any first or second place votes.
CC Sabathia (two sixth place votes), Mark Teixeira (one seventh and one tenth place vote), and David Robertson (one tenth place vote) also appeared on ballots. The full results are available on the BBWAA’s site. The NL MVP will be announced tomorrow at 2pm, the final award of the season.
Dodgers wunderkind Clayton Kershaw took home the NL Cy Young Award today, receiving 27 of 32 first place votes. The 23-year-old southpaw won the pitching Triple Crown this season, leading the league in wins (21), ERA (2.28), and strikeouts (248). He’s the first Dodger to win the award since Eric Gagne in 2003, and the first Dodgers’ starting pitcher to win since Orel Hershiser in 1988. Roy Halladay finished second in the voting, Cliff Lee in third.
Former Yankee Ian Kennedy finished fourth in the voting, receiving one first place vote. Congrats to him. The full results are up on the BBWAA’s site. The AL MVP Award will be announced Monday at 2pm ET. Curtis Granderson and Robbie Cano figure to get a decent amount of votes.
After leading his team to one of the most improbable late-season comebacks in baseball history, Rays skipper Joe Maddon was named the AL Manager of the Year for the second time today. He received 26 of 28 first place votes, and was somehow left off one ballot entirely. Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson took home the NL Award.
Joe Girardi finished fifth in the voting, receiving three second place votes and five third place votes. He finished sixth in the voting last season and third in 2009. Jim Leyland, Ron Washington, and Manny Acta all finished ahead of the Yankees skipper. The full results can be found on the BBWAA’s site. The NL Cy Young Award will be announced tomorrow, with the AL MVP to follow on Monday.