A Blog of Toronto Blue Jays Prospects Interviews, Evaluations and News

2011 Jays Prospects Awards

2011 Jays Prospects Awards

September 19, 2011

JaysProspects.com is proud to entitle outstanding prospects with the following awards:

The Minor League season is officially over. Jays Prospects would like to congratulate The Vancouver Canadians and The New Hampshire Fisher Cats on winning their championships! Without a doubt, it was a fantastic year for the Jays farm system. As we prepare for the off-season, it’s time to give out some awards! Some fun some serious!

Best Graduating Pitcher to the Majors: Henderson Alvarez: After posting an 8-4 record with a 2.84 ERA in New Hamsphire, Alvarez got the call to the majors. So far, this top prospect is having tremendous success at the Big League level with two very strong pitches and a developing slider.

Best Graduating Position Player to the Majors: Brett Lawrie: While I am sure I do not need to explain this, Lawrie finally reached the majors and met (and succeeded) all expectations. This 21-year-old has so far posted a .295 batting average with nine homeruns, four triples, eight doubles, and 24 RBI.

Best Team: This was a tough one to choose as every Jays affiliate team showed such promise and determination. That said, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, filled with tremendous stars and strong prospects deserve this award this year. They won the Eastern League Championship this year and posted a 77-65 record.

Pitcher with the Most Promising Future: Nestor Molina, everybody says he’s got ridiculous stuff, and by looking at his stats, they agree! Molina posted a 10-3 record in Dunedin this year as well as a 2-0 record with a 0.41 ERA in New Hampshire. Wowza!

Travis d'Arnaud won JaysProspects' 'Hitter with the Most Promising Future' Award

Hitter with the Most Promising Future: It was evident to everyone at JaysProspects that Travis D’Arnaud deserved this award. Not only did he win the Eastern League MVP, but he can play defence and can hit for average and power. He posted .311 batting average with 33 doubles, 21 homeruns, and 76 RBIs as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ catcher this season.

Most Promising Defensive Prospect: Adeiny Hechavarria: There is no denying that this young Cuban is just a gem of a shortstop with the glove. In fact, in 111 games this season at shortstop with the Fisher Cats, Hechavarria committed only 11 errors. His defense and his offense both improved once getting promoted to AAA Las Vegas. That said, he will certainly be a delight to watch next season.

John McDonald Hustle and Heart Award: Nicholas Baligod: In his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays organization, Baligod posted a .248 average, hitting 13 doubles, a triple, two homeruns, and 32 RBI. He takes home this award, however, due to his persistance, and true ‘Hustle and Heart,’ recording a .975 fielding percentage and giving it his all both in the field and at the plate.

Feel Good Story of the Year: Adam Loewen: After making it back to the Majors after blowing his arms as a pitcher three years ago while a top pitching prospect, Loewen made it back to the Majors with the Blue Jays as an outfielder. Not only that, but he has shown passion and determination since the return, posting a .313 average thus far in the Magors with one homerun and seven RBI. Dustin McGowan is not eligible for this award because he’s not a minor leaguer or a prospect. He was only on an extended rehab assignment.

Biggest Surprise: Casey Lawrence: Now let’s be honest – you hadn’t heard of him before this year unless you write for JaysProspects.com. However, after this year, it’s evident that you do now. Lawrence posted a 14-9 record between the Lansing Lugnuts and the Dunedin Blue Jays with a 3.04 ERA. Expect to hear his name even more next year.

Emerging Prospect: Drew Hutchison:  It’s hard to believe that Hutchison is only 21-year old. This prospect from Florida has proven himself tremendously this year after starting the season in Lansing and ending in AA New Hampshire. While he got shut down near the end of the season, he still posted a 3-0 record in AA with a 1.20 ERA and recording 21 strikeouts in over 15 innings pitched.

Best Base Stealer: Anthony Gose: If you expected any other name here, you do not visit this site often enough. Not only did Gose successfully steal 70 bases this year, but he also raised his success rate from 57% to 82%. With the help from manager, Sal Fasano, he also learned when to steal, and had the  majority of his failed attempts coming at third base.

Prospect Used to Acquire the Best Asset: Zach Stewart: There is no denying that Blue Jays fans will miss Zach Stewart. Stewart was sent to the Chicago White Sox in a three-way deal that landed the Jays Colby Rasmus. Since his time with Chicago, he has proven why he was a top prospect with the Jays organization, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning recently.

David Cooper deserves some high fives after winning two JaysProspects awards, including, 'Best Contact Hitter.''

Best Contact Hitter: David Cooper: This should also not be a suprise to many. After being entitled the PCL batting champ, Cooper has been named JaysProspects Best Contact Hitter after hitting .364 in AAA Las Vegas. The 2008 1st-round pick also hit 51 doubles, nine homeruns, and 96 RBI.

Too Bad You’re Blocked Behind Another Prospect Award: While I am sure these guys do not want to realize the reality of this award, this award has been given to both  Carlos Perez and AJ Jimenez  – both catchers behind Travis D’Arnaud. Both Perez and Jimenez have had successful seasons behind the plate on their respective teams, yet when you are behind a guy named d’Arnaud on the organization depth chart it’s tough to stand out. This award has been presented to these prospects, letting them know that we see their hard work!

Best New Asset to the Organization: Daniel Norris: While Norris dropped way down the draft board because of signing bonus demands, he is since been called the best left-handed high school pitcher on the board. The Blue Jays organization (along with everyone here at JaysProspects) is mighty glad Alex Anthropolos drafted him and that he signed!

Most Promising Canadian: Marcus Knecht: Ever since his interview with JaysProspects, Knecht has become even more dominating at the plate.  This Ontario native had an amazing season with the Lansing Lugnuts hitting 16 homeruns, 86 RBI  and posting a .273 AVG & .851 OPS.

Best Name: Deck McGuire: With a name like, Deck McGuire, it certainly sounds like you would be killer at baseball… that said… he certainly lives up to his name! With the Fisher Cats, McGuire posted a 2-1 record with a 4.35 ERA. (Additionally, McGuire deserved the award as he has been so nice to us at Jays Prospects for us not to give him an award! Check out his Q&A with us here and here).

Prospect Most Likely to be Traded: While David Cooper must have been elated to win the Jays Prospects’ Best Contact Hitter award, we are not too sure how he will feel now that we have given him this award. While Cooper has definitely done all he has been able to with the organization, Adam Lind has him blocked at first in the Majors.

What awards would you give some of the players? What do you think of our awards? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below and by following me on twitter @cmessina85.