With a roster full of some of the Jays’ top prospects coming into the 2017 season, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats were expected to be a very strong team but they didn’t capitalize on their potential.
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats finished their season at 59-80 under manager Gary Allenson, finishing in dead last in the entire Eastern League. With an offense that was 0.8 years younger than average in the league, the club had the 10th best offense (out of 12 teams), scoring 4.06 runs per game when the league average was 4.32 runs per game. The pitching staff ranked a little better, finishing eighth in the league, allowing 4.68 runs per game with a staff that was one year younger than 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 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, 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 0.33 points, etc. There were occasions that I felt that no one merited the award and therefore, I did not give out any points.
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Congrats to Gunnar Heidt, our 2017 Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion! With the sheer number of highly-touted prospects who started the year on the Fisher Cats, I’m sure it’s a big surprise to you too, but Heidt was fairly consistent throughout the year and was a big contributor to the club!
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
In narrowing things down for the Player of the Year award, things are a little more difficult. Some of the best players on the club only played partial seasons with Reese McGuire getting into just 34 games, Anthony Alford playing only 68 games and Danny Jansen playing just 52. Of the players who managed to play a full season for the Fisher Cats, it really comes down to two: Jonathan Davis and Tim Lopes. For my money, I’m going with Jonathan Davis whose higher OBP helped to give him an edge in OPS. Congrats to Jonathan Davis, who becomes a two-time Player of the Year after his season last year in Dunedin!
Honourable Mention: Tim Lopes, Anthony Alford
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
Deciding on our Pitcher of the Year was also tough this year. The favourites heading into the season, top prospects like Sean Reid-Foley, Jon Harris and Conner Greene, all had ERAs over 5.00 despite moments of excellence. Therefore, we’re going to single out Chris Rowley who made his big league debut in 2017 and posted a 1.73 ERA and 0.81 WHIP over 52 innings.
Honourable Mention: Ryan Borucki, Carlos Ramirez, Andrew Case, Justin Shafer
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
There’s really just one reliever of the year for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats: Carlos Ramirez. The righty absolutely dominated this year, posting a 0.00 ERA and 0.72 WHIP in 23 2/3 innings, striking out 29 and walking seven in a minor league season bereft of an earned run.
Honourable Mention: Andrew Case, Justin Shafer
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