Cider Donuts & 2012 Red Sox Minor League Awards
The off-season is officially here. With no more bus rides, hotels, and press box dinners until April 2013, this past weekend was the perfect time to re-introduce myself to my wife, Heather.
Our first date of the off-season was on Saturday when we joined some family and went apple orchard hopping. We tasted some of the finest cider donuts, apple cider, and, of course, apples, New England has to offer. I always thought the traffic around Fenway was bad until I saw the line of cars waiting to get inside Honey Pot Hill orchard in Stow, Ma. (just think of the final scene from Field of Dreams).
For as much as we all love baseball, it was a nice change to enjoy a Saturday with family. I’ll never be able to repay Heather for surviving my schedule during the season. She’s endured countless dinners, holidays, and weekends by herself while I’ve been away calling a baseball game.
Transitioning from apple orchards to baseball…In case you missed it, the Red Sox recently announced their 2012 Minor League award winners. All information was provided by the Red Sox media relations department:
Pitcher of the Year: Brandon Workman
Workman combined to go 10-8 with a 3.50 ERA (54 ER/138.2 IP) and 130 strikeouts in 25 starts between High-A Salem and Double A-Portland. The 24-year-old ranked among organizational minor league leaders in strikeouts (T-2nd) and wins (4th), and among Carolina League leaders in ERA (4th, 3.40), WHIP (2nd, 1.09) and opponent batting average (2nd, .244). He was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for April 23-29 after tossing a 6.0-inning, three-hit shutout in a start on April 27. Workman was selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Offensive Player of the Year: Xander Bogaerts
The 19-year-old Bogaerts hit .307 with 37 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs, 81 RBI and 44 walks in 127 games with High-A Salem and Double-A Portland, including a .326 average (30-for-92) in 23 games for the Sea Dogs. He was named Carolina League Player of the Week for July 30-August 5 and was selected as a Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star. He also represented the Red Sox organization at the 2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, playing for the World team. After an August 9 promotion to Double-A, Bogaerts hit safely in 19 of 23 games with Portland, including 10 multi-hit contests. Named to Baseball America’s 2012 Minor League All-Star Second-Team, he ranked among organizational minor league leaders in home runs (T-2nd), RBI (3rd) and batting (T-4th). Bogaerts signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent in August of 2009.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jackie Bradley
Bradley committed just seven errors in 260 chances for a .973 fielding percentage in 115 games between right field (1 game) and center field (114 games) with High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He batted .315 (146-for-463) with 42 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 87 walks and 63 RBI in 128 games with Salem and Portland. The 22-year-old hit .359 (84-for-234) with 26 doubles, 34 RBI and 52 walks for Salem before making his Double-A debut on June 21. Bradley was named Topps Player of the Month in the Carolina League for May, batting .382 (34-for-89) with 21 walks to lead all CL hitters. He ranked second in Boston’s minor league system in batting average, was selected as a Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star and named to Baseball America’s 2012 Minor League All-Star Second Team. Bradley was selected as the fourth pick by the Red Sox (sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds, 40th overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Base Runner of the Year: Garin Cecchini
The 21-year-old Cecchini led the Red Sox organization with 51 stolen bases for Single-A Greenville, third-most in the South Atlantic League, and was caught stealing just six times for an 89.4 percent success rate. He led qualifying South Atlantic League third basemen with a .944 fielding percentage, committing 14 errors in 251 chances. Named a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star, he ranked among league leaders in doubles (T-3rd, 38) and runs scored (T-4th, 84). Cecchini was selected as the sixth pick by the Red Sox (4th round, 143rd overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Latin Program Pitcher of the Year: Keivin Heras
Heras was 6-1 with a 2.03 ERA (14 ER/62.0 IP) in 13 starts for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox. Named a DSL All-Star, the 18-year-old held opponents to one earned run or less in nine of his 13 starts. He led the team in wins (tied) and innings pitched.
Latin Program Player of the Year: Manuel Margot
Margot hit .285 (74-for-260) with 10 doubles, 45 RBI, 36 walks and 33 stolen bases in 68 games for the DSL Red Sox. The 17-year-old ranked third among DSL leaders with 33 stolen bases and was selected as a Dominican Summer League All-Star. He paced the club in hits, RBI, stolen bases, runs (49) and total bases (110).