The Fisher Cats were a solid club this season, posting a 68-72 record and finishing just back of a playoff spot. The club didn’t feature a whole lot of prospects at the beginning of the year, but things changed as the calendar turned towards summer.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion
For those of you that followed along with my daily Minor League Reports on Jays Journal (that I started at the old Blue Jays from Away blogger site) and on Twitter, 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 I’ve 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 or three 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.
Here are the final standings for Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats:
Congratulations go out to the Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion: Adam Loewen. Loewen was one of the most consistent players this season and had some terrific games after a slow start to the year.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
While Brad Glenn earned the Webster Award from the Blue Jays as the most valuable player on the Fisher Cats, I’m going to give the Player of the Year award to Adam Loewen. In my opinion, Loewen was a quiet offensive catalyst on the club, playing wherever in the field and batting wherever in the order he was needed. It was an extremely close call between Loewen, Glenn and Kevin Pillar, but in the end, I used wRC (on Fangraphs) to break the logjam. Honourable mention goes to Ryan Schimpf who was also extremely versatile, playing many different defensive positions, and led the team in home runs (23).
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
This is another tough call, with both Marcus Walden and Deck McGuire having solid seasons logging loads of innings (both threw over 150) but Walden’s lack of finishing ability (12.5% strikeout rate) and McGuire’s tendency lose focus and have line scores with crooked numbers in them put both pitchers out of the running. In the end, it came down to a dynamic duo of Sean Nolin and Marcus Stroman. Due to the fact that Stroman logged almost 20 more innings and had marginally better strikeout and walk rates, I’m going to give him the award. Congratulations, Marcus Stroman!
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
Despite the fact that he only spent half of the season in New Hampshire, Joel Carreno was just utterly dominant with the Fisher Cats. Carreno’s strikeout rate of 42.7% was, by far, the best percentage of anyone on the team (with more than three innings pitched).
Blue Jays from Away Most Improved Player
Looking over the numbers, there’s really only one player that I can give this award to: Deck McGuire. While, on the surface, it doesn’t seem like he was that much better in 2013, McGuire shaved a whole run off his ERA, over 1.60 runs off his FIP, dropped his WHIP from 1.56 to 1.32, his walk rate from 9.6% to 8.8%, his HR/9 rate from 1.38 to 0.69 and increased his strikeout rate from 15.1% to 21.3%. For a guy who was being written off as a bust after last season, McGuire has resurrected his prospect status (although he may just be a “fringe” prospect now) and should be moving up to Buffalo come 2014.
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