The 2015 New Hampshire Fisher Cats finished with a 69-71 record under Bobby Meacham and were pretty much the team that they seemed: a middling club with (barely) sub-.500 record. The Fisher Cats did see some highly touted prospects join the club but, for the most part, had a club full of players who were either struggling to adjust to a higher level or trying to figure things out in a second (or third) time through Double-A.
The Fisher Cats finished seventh out of 12 teams in the Eastern League in runs per game (4.07) with an offense that was 0.4 years above the leagues 24.4 year old average. On the mound, the Fisher Cats lagged, finishing tenth in the league in runs allowed (4.21) despite a pitching staff that was 2.3 years older than the 24.6 year average in the league.
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 New Hampshire Fisher Cats:
|Dwight Smith, Jr.
And . . . It’s another tie! Ryan Schimpf is a fan favourite and led the Fisher Cats in home runs yet again while K.C. Hobson led the club in RBI, having somewhat of a bounce back season from 2014 with 14 homers.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
The Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year is the same fellow who the Blue Jays rewarded with a Webster Award for the Fisher Cats. Ryan Schimpf was a dominant player in Double-A and, while he couldn’t recreate his success in his time with Buffalo, when he was playing in New Hampshire, he was unstoppable, hitting .271/.378/.581 with 20 doubles and 20 home runs. Incidentally, Schimpf led the Blue Jays organization in home runs for the third consecutive year, adding another three in Buffalo.
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
This award was a tough one to decide because the best pitchers on the club this year were all relievers or are no longer in the organization. Sorry, Matt Boyd, I just can’t bring myself to hand out an award to a guy who made fewer than half a season’s worth of starts with the club. Additionally, Taylor Cole’s 164 innings carry a lot more weight with me than a guy who threw fewer than 50 innings. So, despite a 4.06 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, Taylor Cole wins the Pitcher of the Year award for 2015. I don’t want to minimize his accomplishments, however, as he was a durable, effective pitcher for much of the season.
Honourable mentions: Matt Boyd, Danny Barnes, Blake McFarland
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
Unlike the previous category, in this one, there is a ton of choice as the Fisher Cats’ bullpen was overflowing with outstanding hurlers. No matter where you looked, there were relievers for the Fisher Cats with sub-3.00 ERAs and over a strikeout per inning. One, however, got the edge thanks to his heavier workload and his ability to put up stellar numbers in a variety of categories. Blake McFarland has seen a renaissance in the past couple of years, reaching Triple-A Buffalo in 2015. McFarland threw 47 innings with the Fisher Cats, posting a 1.72 ERA, 0.89 WHIP while striking out a whopping 62 batters and walking only six.
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