The Mariners handed out their minor league awards on Saturday night, and a couple of Tacoma Rainiers players were honored.
The Minor League Player of the Year award went to co-winners: Tacoma’s Jesus Montero and Bakersfield’s Tyler O’Neill.
Montero set a Tacoma franchise record with a .355 batting average. He hit 18 home runs and drove in 85.
The 20-year-old O’Neill hit .260 with 32 home runs and 87 RBI.
Tacoma’s Jabari Blash was named winner of the Mariners Heart & Soul award for his “exemplary play and leadership.” Between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma, Blash batted .271 with 32 homers and 81 RBI. He also drew 59 walks and posted a .370 OBP.
The award for the top starting pitcher went to Edwin Diaz, who put up a 3.82 ERA with 145 strikeouts and 46 walks in 141.1 innings split between Bakersfield and Jackson.
Paul Fry won the award for best relief pitcher. The lefty had a 2.03 ERA in 80 innings between Bakersfield and Jackson. He struck out 113 while issuing only 24 walks.
While it’s a little early for this sort of thing, I suspect we’ll see Blash, Diaz, and Fry in Tacoma at some point next year. Montero is out of minor league options, and O’Neill currently projects to spend the season in either Bakersfield or Jackson – although you never know.
- Jerry Dipoto told Larry Stone about how he plans to turn the Mariners around.
- John McGrath writes that finding a center fielder should be Dipoto’s No. 1 priority.
- The Mariners finished the season with a 76-86 record. The final game was a 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon. The weekend also featured an extra-innings defeat on Saturday, and a 4-2 loss on Friday night.
- The Mariners will have the No. 11 pick in next year’s draft – unless they sign a big free agent, in which case they will lose the draft pick.
- Robinson Cano will have surgery to repair a sports hernia. He’s been playing injured since late July, which has been obvious to anyone watching him try to run. It’s incredible that he has hit so well during this time.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook pinpoints when the season went bad. On Saturday he detailed winter ball plans for several Mariners players.
- Lloyd McClendon was one of the best in MLB at using his replay challenges.
- Jonah Keri tweeted that he was going to kill your entire workday, and then posted his final edition of “The 30” in which he writes on all 30 clubs.
- Former El Paso Chihuahuas manager Pat Murphy was not retained by the San Diego Padres as major league manager.
- Ichiro pitched.
Check back tomorrow for a look at ex-Rainiers in the MLB Wild Card games.