Mariners Announce Minor League Awards

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.

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Check back tomorrow for a look at ex-Rainiers in the MLB Wild Card games.

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