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Farmer's Only: The Farmies!!!

The Beckhams love the Farmies!
The Beckhams love the Farmies!

It's that time of year again!  That's right, time for everyone's favorite minor league awards, the (1st annual) Farmie Awards!  We'll be presenting awards for outstanding performances in the Reds minor league system during the 2009 season.  We'll present the awards over two days.  Today are the smaller awards (think Art Direction and Makeup Design).  Tomorrow we'll get into the major prizes.  As with any awards show, there will be awkward acceptance speeches, terrible clothes, and controversial winners.  That's where you come in.  Let me know why my picks are wrong and who the award should've gone to.

Hope you enjoy!

The Chernobyl Award:  Most Explosive Power

Juan Francisco

He's averaged 25 homers and 29 doubles a year in his first 3 full pro seasons.  His ISO and OPS have gone up each of those 3 seasons as well.  And he's only 22 and will keep getting about those walks.

Honorable Mention:

Nobody in the Reds system is in his league right now.


The Bizarro Big Donkey Award: Best Outfield Defense

Drew Stubbs

We got to see a taste of his defensive deliciousness over the last month and a half of the season.  He was worth 7.7 runs in his short time in Cincy, and he was just continuing the magic he displayed with Louisville this season.  TotalZone rated him as worth 33 Runs per 150 games for L'Ville this year.  We all know it's an imperfect metric, but that's still ridiculously good.  Oh, and he was voted best outfield defense, best outfield arm, and best baserunner in the International League this season.  He can flat out defend.

Honorable Mention:

Chris Heisey plays a solid CF and is good on either corner.

Yorman Rodriguez is still very raw, but word is he has a rocket arm and can cover some major ground in CF.


The Maňos Del Oro Award:  Best Infield Defense

Zack Cozart

Ignore all of the errors.  Cozart is a slick fielder with good range and a strong arm.  Some have compared him favorably to Janish, only with (hopefully) a better bat.

Honorable Mention:

Miguel Rojas-Also a good fielding SS, but until he passes Cozart on the depth chart he'll play second fiddle.


The Jeffersons Award: Movin’ On Up Fastest Through the System


Matt Klinker

Klinker, a graduate of Lakota West High School (gooooooo Firebirds!), was drafted in the 15th round of the 2007 draft out of Furman University.  He toiled mostly in Dayton last year as a 23 year old, and his prospect status was marginal.  This year, however, after struggling a bit through 9 starts in Sarasota, he was promoted to Carolina where he made just 6 more starts before being promoted again to Louisville where he got 5 starts before suffering a season ending injury.  He performed better with each successive promotion, striking out over a batter per inning in AAA, and could potentially be in the #5 starter conversation in the spring.  Not bad for a 15th round pick just 2 years out of college.

Honorable Mention:

23 year old groundball machine Enerio Del Rosario started the year in Sarasota as well, and finished on Louisville’s playoff roster.  He has great control and almost 70% of balls in play against him were groundballs.  Sounds like a good fit for GABP and our infield defense.  He has an outside chance of starting next year in the Reds ‘pen.

Yorman Rodriguez…..a 16 year old in Billings?  That’s craaaaaazy.  If he even sniffs Dayton next year he’ll be a lock for this award in 2010.

Need to add Logan Ondrusek here.  BK pointed out his somewhat meteoric rise through the system this year, earning a spot in the AFL.  Plus, dude's gigantic, I'd hate to make him angry.

The WorldCom Award: Greatest Prospect Stock Plummet

Kyle Lotzkar

The Canuck with the Hammer Curve dominated low-A as an 18 year old in 2008, striking out almost 12 batters per nine innings.  He was given the honor of being Red Reporter's #7 prospect last year.  Doug Gray rated him #8 in the system and said he had #1 starter potential.  Due to an elbow fracture that still hasn't fully healed, there are serious questions about whether he'll ever pitch again, let alone be an ace.

Honorable Mention:

Last year at this time some thought Chris Valaika would be in Cincinnati by now, but injuries and a terrible April through July has hindered his progress.  He's still got value as a prospect, but given his somewhat limited defensive capabilities and questions with the bat, he's far from a sure bet now.


The Google Award: Greatest Prospect Stock Gain


Travis Wood

Selected in the 2nd round out of high school in 2005, Wood has always carried the label of "prospect," but his first 4 professional seasons were characterized by allowing too many baserunners.  This year, his age 22 season, something clicked.  His BB/9 went from 4.78 last year to 2.86 this year.  His average against went from .264 last year to .207 this year.  This caused his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) to go from 4.66 to 3.28.  Last year he didn't make the RR Community Rankings top 15, and Doug Gray listed him as the Reds 28th best prospect.  I'm guessing he'll be on everyone's top 10 list this year.

Honorable Mention:

Chris Heisey was Doug's 23rd best prospect this year and will probably make all Reds top 10 lists this year.  If he hadn't struggled a bit in AAA he would have easily won this award.  As it is, he's still got a bit more to show to be considered more than a 4th OF at the major league level.

Zack Cozart, like Heisey, would've won this award in another year.  He showed improved power and plate discipline this year to go with what might be the best SS defense in the minor league system.