While the Buffalo Bisons didn’t have the best season under manager Gary Allenson, the club’s personnel was in constant flux as the big league team had the QEW working overtime to get players to and from Toronto. While competitive throughout most of the season, with injuries to the Blue Jays mounting in September, the Bisons found themselves depleted and went 12-25 in August and September.
The Bisons played to an overall record of 68-76, finishing in third place in the North Division of the International League. The Bisons generated the 10th most runs (out of 14 teams) in the International League, scoring 3.83 runs per game with an average age of 28.1 years, 1.3 above the league average. The pitching, however, was much better, allowing only 3.60 runs per game, good for fourth in the league thanks to a veteran pitching staff that averaged 29 years old, the oldest in the league and 2.1 years older than the league average.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion
For those of you who followed the minor league reports here, you’ll know that I “awarded” Player of the Game (PotG) accolades on a game-by-game basis. It should comfort you to know that Iâve been keeping track of these daily awards and my rationale for the system is as follows.
The Player of the Game Awards were determined by a number of factors that included who I thought had the most impact on the game and who might have gone “above and beyond.” Most nights, there was just one Player of the Game. If there was, he earned one point. If I thought that either a) no one stood out enough to merit a single PotG, or b) two or more players were outstanding and deserved mention, I split the point up into two, three or four shares. If two players earned PotG mention, they each received 0.5 points and if three players earned mentions, they each received 0.3 points. There were occasions that I felt that no one merited the award and therefore, I did not give out any points.
Here are the final standings for Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game for the Buffalo Bisons:
No one has ever (in our three years of keeping track) dominated a team’s Player of the Game standings the way that Matt Hague has for the 2015 Bisons. With almost a 10 point margin of victory, Matt “The” Hague is our winner! Check out Podcast #41 for our interview with him from this August!
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
This is a pretty obvious award. Matt Hague not only wins our Player of the Year award, but he was also the Blue Jays MVP for the Bisons (the Webster Award) as well as the International League MVP. Hague hit .338/.416/.468, trailing only Chris Colabello (95 plate appearances) and Dioner Navarro (17 plate appearances) on the club in OPS at .885. Hague was so much better than anyone else on the team, the closest players in OPS with any kind of regular playing time were Alex Hassan (.776 OPS), Dalton Pompey (.728 OPS) and Andy Burns (.723 OPS).
Honourable Mentions: Alex Hassan, Dalton Pompey, Andy Burns
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
I’m so tempted to give this award to someone who isn’t in the organization anymore but, since I haven’t done it with any of the other teams, I won’t do it now. Because of Randy Wolf’s ineligibility, the award goes to Jeff Francis, the veteran Canadian lefty. Francis had a 2.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with just 13 walks and 79 strikeouts in 92 innings. Congrats to our Pitcher of the Year, Jeff Francis!
Honourable mentions: Randy Wolf, Scott Copeland, Chad Jenkins
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
Ryan Tepera handled his promotions and demotions with class but really gave the Blue Jays no reason to complain and earned his way back onto the playoff roster with an outstanding season split between Toronto and Buffalo. The 27 year old was dominant in Buffalo, posting a 1.06 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP and 37 strikeouts and just 13 walks (with only 16 hits) in 34 innings.
Honourable mentions: Rob Rasmussen, Greg Infante, Greg Burke
Blue Jays from Away Most Improved Player
This is a tough award, mainly because most players, by the time they get to Triple-A, are already what they’re going to be, leaving little room for improvement. I’m inclined to give it to Matt Hague but he really didn’t improve THAT much over his 2014 season. He hit .267/.365/.448 with the Indianapolis Indians and actually turned things on in 13 games with Buffalo last year, hitting .377/.411/.566. If we look at his overall stats, they’re not much worse than 2015’s MVP year. In that case, I’m going to award this one to Steve Delabar who was good in Triple-A last year but still struggled with his control. This year, he maintained his high strikeout rate but cut down on his walks and cut his ERA in half, to 1.42 in 25 1/3 innings.
Blue Jays from Away Best Newcomer
Once again, I’m tempted to give this award to Randy Wolf but, again, he’s not with the organization anymore. I’d also give it to Chris Colabello but he only had 95 plate appearances with Buffalo. And so, it goes to Jeff Francis who dominated in Triple-A.
Honourable mention: Alex Hassan
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