- With the minor league season coming to an end I thought I would continue my year end awards and hand out 5 awards to each team. I will continue with the Fort Myers Miracle who have had a great season as they went 80-58 which was good enough for first place in both halves of the season. The awards that I will be giving out are hitter of the year, pitcher of the the year, Rookie of the year and the only prerequisite is you couldn't have spent any time at High A previously. Also the most surprising player and the most disappointing player of the year. I welcome everyone's thoughts on the players I have chosen and you can either leave me a comment in the comment box or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hitter of the Year: Ben Revere- Ben Revere built on his great season in Beloit last year with another monster season in Fort Myers. Last year at Beloit he hit .379 in 83 games for the Snappers and there was some question whether he would be able to follow that up with another good year. If there were any doubts about Revere's longevity and if he could keep it going he answered that with another great year. He did not hit .379 again, but he should not of been expected to because of the rise in competition and the fact that the Florida State League is more of a pitchers league so you don't see the offensive stats that you see in the Midwest League. Revere hit a very good .311 in 121 games for the Miracle with 2 homeruns and 48 rbi's along with a career high 45 stolen bases along with 13 doubles and 4 triples. He showed very good plate discipline because he had more walks than strikeouts with 40 walks and only 34 strikeouts in 466 at bats. Ben had a very good .372 on base percentage which is very good for a leadoff hitter. Revere only had a .369 slugging percentage, but that should not be surprising because by and large Revere is a singles hitter who does not get many extra base hits and as he keeps developing you would like to see some more extra base hits. Revere had a .741 OPS which is pretty good for a leadoff hitter. With that being said there are things that Revere needs to work on and one of the big things is Stolen Base percentage as he gets thrown out alot. Revere had 45 stolen bases but it was on 62 attempts which is only a 73% percentage. He needs to get that up to 80-85 percent as he moves forward. Overall, Ben Revere showed he was not a 1 year thing and I look for him to move up to New Britain for the 2010 and continue his success as I think he will be a member of the Twins come September 2011
- Pitcher of the Year: David Bromberg- David Bromberg really picked it up this year after a so so last year. Not only did he win my award as Fort Myers pitcher of the year, but he also won the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year award. That is quite an accomplishment for a guy that kind of struggled last year in Beloit. He was not bad at Beloit, but nothing compared to the year he had this year in Fort Myers. After going 9-10 with a 4.44 era in 27 starts last year in Beloit. He pitched 150 inn and struck out an organization high 177 batters, but also walked 54 batters. Those numbers are pretty average and nothing in those numbers show the type of season he had this year. Bromberg moved up to Fort Myers this year and put up a heck of a season. Bromberg went 13-4 with an incredible 2.70 era in 26 starts. What an improvement as he won 4 more games and cut almost 2 runs off his era. In 153.1 innings Bromberg only gave up 52 earned runs compared to 81 last year. His walk to strikeout total even improved as he struck out 148 batters while walking 63 batters. David Bromberg has improved himself from a average pitcher to probably the best pitching prospect in the organization. It is quite unbelievable the changes that Bromberg has made this year. Look for Bromberg to start next season in New Britain pitching for the Rockcats and make his major league debut September 2011 and be a fixture in the Twins rotation for years to come.
- Rookie of the Year: Santos Arias- Santos Arias really stepped up this year after getting promoted to Fort Myers after spending last year with Beloit. Arias split last year between the bullpen and the starting rotation. He had a solid year in the rotation, but they moved him to the bullpen to protect his arm because he is razor thin as he is only 5'11 162 lbs. Last year in 30 games Arias went 5-6 with a very good 3.27 era along with 29 walks and an impressive 91 strikeouts in 110 innings. With his size and his strikeout rate when it was decided to move Arias up to Fort Myers this spring they decided to send him to the bullpen and have him as a good setup man. When Mike Mccardell was promoted to New Britain it opened a spot in the rotation and the Miracle decided that Arias was the right guy for the job and he really showed that they were right. Santos Arias went 6-3 with a very good 2.15 era in 38 games including 9 starts for the Miracle. In 100.2 innings of work Arias walked only 27 and struck out 72. Santos Arias showed that you can't judge the book by his cover because all he does is get people out and that is all that should matter not how big he is or how hard he throws. If Arias can stay healthy I look for him to continue starting going into next year and if he has a good start at Fort Myers he should be up in New Britain very soon.
- Most Surprising Player: Rene Leveret- Going into the season I did not know much about Leveret after he split last season between Elizabethton and Beloit. Last year in 58 games Leveret hit .289 with 5 homeruns and 40 rbi's along with 12 doubles and a .361/.413/.773 line last year which is very average. Not bad, but also nothing to make you think he is capable of great numbers either. Leveret moved up to Fort Myers this year and even though he cooled off in the last month or 2 there was a time during the year that Leveret really carried the Miracle when the Miracle really were not scoring very many runs so that should not be forgotten. Overall, Leveret hit .286 with 5 homeruns and 38 rbi's in 92 games and 301 at bats along with 17 doubles and a triple. His line was .363/.399/.762 which was decent once again. Overall, it was not a great year for Leveret, but it definately was unexpected for me because I did not expect hardly anything from Leveret this year and there was a time that he carried the Miracle. He will likely start next season back in Fort Myers splitting time between Dh and 1st base and should have another solid year for the Miracle and it would not surprise me to see him get a promotion to New Britain sometime next year.
- Most Disappointing player: Deibinson Romero- Going into the year I expected a bigtime bounceback performance from Romero after a injury filled 2008 season. The Twins added him to the 40 man roster and he was promoted to Fort Myers. I really expect big things out of Romero and he really did not get the job done. He got off to a good start, but went through a 1-30 streak in June and never was really to recover from it. In all Romero hit just .222 with 5 homeruns and 56 rbi's in 120 games along with 18 doubles and 3 triples in 424 at bats. His line was not very good either hitting .308/.314/.622 for the year. To make things worse Romero committed a organization high 25 errors at third base. After the season there are some that are going to wonder if it was a mistake to put Romero on the 40 man roster and there will be some that will have to rethink their plans of having Romero as 3rd baseman of the future. There are a lot more questions about Romero now than there was going into the season. He will be back at Fort Myers next year and hope that he can reestablish himself next year and make people forget about this year or he could be looking for a job with another organization. I still have some hopes that Romero can turn it around, but my hopes for him are not what they were before and I could not tell you what he is going to do next year.