In 2014, the Dunedin Blue Jays made it to the playoffs on strong performances from Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey, Dwight Smith, Jr. but 2015 was a far different season as they finished at 61-76 under manager Omar Malave.
At times, the Dunedin offense was very weak but ended up finishing in the top half of the league, with the sixth best offense in the Florida State League (one of the minor league’s worst leagues for hitters), averaging 3.70 runs per game with a group of players who were exactly the league average age at 22.6 years old. The pitching, on the other hand, was the worst in the league, averaging 4.34 runs per game allowed and an average age of 0.3 years above the league average of 23.0 years old.
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 Dunedin Blue Jays:
|Dickie Joe Thon||4.6|
|Tiago da Silva||0.5|
For someone who only joined the Dunedin Blue Jays at the end of June, Anthony Alford made a particularly noteworthy charge up the leaderboard but he just didn’t have the time to overtake our winner, L.B. Dantzler!
Congrats to Dantzler, the Player of the Game Champion. Dantlzer was the 2013 Player of the Game Champion for the Vancouver Canadians.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
For Player of the Year, I went with one of the two players who spent the whole season at the Dunedin level. While his numbers look slightly weak, Matthew Dean actually had a very good season for the Dunedin Blue Jays. His .253/.313/.410 line seems mediocre but when the league average OPS is .650 and he tied for the league lead in home runs with 14, Dean’s 122 wRC+ is actually pretty good. Obviously we like to blown away by numbers like the ones that Ryan McBroom put up in Lansing but Dean’s season was the best for the whole season with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
Congrats to Matt Dean, the Dunedin Blue Jays’ Player of the Year!
Honourable mentions: Christian Lopes, L.B. Dantzler
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
For Pitcher of the Year, we tend to go with a starter because, let’s face it, innings matter. A pitcher who can shoulder the load for more innings can be more valuable in the long run than just about any reliever. Also, we have a separate reliever category in these awards. Choosing the Pitcher of the Year is about weighing the options as well as how much he pitched and how dominant he was. This year, the award goes to Murphy Smith, who joined the Blue Jays’ organization in April and was the most consistent pitcher with Dunedin until he went down to injury at the end of July. Smith posted a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP with 23 walks and 68 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings and gets the nod over some other worthy candidates who either had stats that were worse than league average (remember, it’s a pitcher-friendly league), were traded away or didn’t spend enough time with this team.
Honourable mentions: Jeremy Gabryszwski, Alberto Tirado
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
In this category we’re spoiled for choice. The Blue Jays had a stellar group of relievers but I’m going to go with Webster Award winner Wil Browning, whose 0.78 ERA and tiny 0.55 WHIP showed a tremendous amount of dominance, striking out 32.3% and walking only 1.6% of batters over 34 2/3 innings. Browning also didn’t pitch more at another level, making it easier to consider him a Dunedin Blue Jays.
Blue Jays from Away Most Improved Player
There weren’t many candidates for improvement but Christian Lopes spent his first season in Dunedin in 2014 and hit only .243/.329/.350 in 394 plate appearances. Returning to Dunedin in 2015, Lopes didn’t really “light it on fire” but his numbers were well above league average, hitting .293/.368/.382 in only 278 plate appearances. He did spend some time in Double-A New Hampshire and, while he didn’t hit well there at all, he improved his OPS by 70 points at the same level as a 22-year-old in 2015.
Blue Jays from Away Newcomer of the Year
Congrats go out to Murphy Smith who joined the organization and was outstanding for 83 1/3 innings with the Dunedin Blue Jays. Our Pitcher of the Year, Smith was excellent, despite being a 27 year old playing against players approximately three years younger than him. Despite that, excellent at any level is always something to look at and Smith, until his injury, was definitely doing more for the Dunedin pitching staff and helping them win ball games.
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