As Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Trenton begin the playoffs tonight, it’s time to give out some post-season awards at each of the minor league levels which we covered throughout the season. There will be an overall award, as well as awards for members of each team.
Player of the Year, Organization: Tyler Austin, OF, Charleston/Tampa/Trenton
Tyler started the year as a mid-level prospect in Charleston, and promptly burst onto the scene, hitting .320 with 14 home runs and 54 RBIs in just seventy games. By mid-season, Austin was on the verge of becoming one of the best hitting prospects in the system and had earned a promotion to Tampa. While there, the batting average stayed about the same though 36 games as Austin hit .321. However, his power numbers dipped significantly, with only two home runs and 23 RBIs. His OPS also dropped from 1.002 to .863. Between the two levels, Austin flashed a knack for stealing bases, as he was successful on 23 of 25 tries for the season. For the final series of the season, Austin was promoted to Trenton, where I would guess he will open next season starting in right field.
Pitcher of the Year, Organization: Brett Marshall, SP, Trenton
It is very tempting to select Nik Turley or Ramon Ortiz, but ultimately, Brett Marshall is a big reason why Trenton is the champion of the Eastern Division. In his first season with the Thunder, Marshall proved to be every bit of an ace, going 13-7 on the season with a 3.52 ERA. The 22-year-old started 27 games, recording 158.1 innings pitched and striking out 120 batters. As Trenton enters the post-season, it’s Marshall who manager Tony Franklin is giving the ball to in the series opener against Reading. At this point, I think it would be shocking to see Marshall back in Trenton next season, as he has earned a shot at the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre rotation by finishing second in the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year voting.
Most Improved Player, Organization: Kelvin Perez, RP, Trenton & Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
A year ago, just about everyone would have laughed at me had I told them that Kelvin Perez would be the most reliable man in Trenton’s bullpen, and would earn a promotion to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre by August. In 2011, Perez split time between Charleston and Tampa, going 0-4 with a 5.01 ERA. One of the few bright spots was that he had struck out 77 hitters in 70 innings of work, but he certainly didn’t sound like someone who could be knocking on the major league door in 2013. After starting the year in Trenton and posting a 6-1 record and four saves with a shocking 1.14 ERA and .192 batting average against in 41 appearances, Perez was promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was average with the Yankees, pitching to a 1-2 record with a 3.77 ERA in 14.1 innings of work, but clearly is deserving of being named as our Most Improved Player within the organization.
Most Disappointing Player, Organization: Dellin Betances, SP, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre & Trenton
It takes an awful lot for someone considered to be a top prospect to get demoted from Triple-A to Double-A, but Dellin Betances did enough to warrant such treatment this year. After making his major league debut at the end of 2011, Betances was a disaster in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s rotation to start the season, pitching to a 3-5 record and an atrocious 6.39 ERA in 16 starts. Worse yet, the former top prospect had no command whatsoever, recording the highest WHIP in the International League (1.87) prior to his demotion. When the 6-foot-8 right-hander got to Trenton, things didn’t get any better. In eleven appearances with the Thunder, Betances went 3-4 with an ERA finishing at 6.51. His control didn’t improve much, and he would still pitch to a 1.82 WHIP, which was really no better than what he had done in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. As he heads into next season, it will be very interesting to see what the Yankees do with him. Betances certainly won’t start in the Triple-A rotation, but could make a case for a bullpen spot, or head back to Trenton and try to work through his issues in the rotation.
Team MVP: Ronnier Mustelier, IF/OF, .303, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 7 SB, four different positions played
Pitcher of the Year: Ramon Ortiz, 13-6, 3.45 ERA in 169.1 IP, 104 K
Team MVP: Addison Maruszak, IF, .276, 16 HR, 59 RBI, four different positions played
Pitcher of the Year: Brett Marshall, SP, 13-7, 3.52 ERA in 158.1 IP, 120 K
Team MVP: Ramon Flores, OF, .302, 6 HR, 39 RBI, 24 SB
Pitcher of the Year: Nik Turley, SP, 9-5, 2.89 ERA in 112.1 IP, 116 K
First-Half MVP: Rob Segedin, OF/3B, .297, 7 HR, 41 RBI
Team MVP: Ali Castillo, IF/OF, .307, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 17 SB, five different positions played
Pitcher of the Year: Nick Goody, 1-2, 6 SV, 1.09 ERA in 24.2 IP, 40 K
First-Half MVP: Tyler Austin, OF, .320, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 17 SB