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
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 stronger......now about those walks.
Nobody in the Reds system is in his league right now.
The Bizarro Big Donkey Award: Best Outfield Defense
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.
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
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.
Miguel Rojas-Also a good fielding SS, but until he passes Cozart on the depth chart he'll play second fiddle.
Jeffersons Award: Movin’ On Up Fastest Through the System
Klinker, a graduate of
23 year old groundball machine Enerio Del Rosario started the year in
Yorman Rodriguez…..a 16 year old in
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
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.
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
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.
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.