Suárez, Gray take home top awards at Redsfest

December 7th, 2019

CINCINNATI -- A yearly Redsfest tradition is the presentation of the award winners from the prior season, honoring the best players at both the Minor League and Major League levels.

The Reds recognized several outstanding players and performances from the 2019 season, including Most Valuable Player , who won the Ernie Lombardi Award for the second consecutive season. The All-Star third baseman, a unanimous selection by the Cincinnati chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, recorded 49 homers -- the most by a Reds third baseman and by any Venezuelan-born player in Major League history.

Right-hander received the Johnny Vander Meer Most Outstanding Pitcher Award. Gray was a National League All-Star, finished seventh in the BBWAA's NL Cy Young Award voting and in Players Choice Award voting of MLB Players Association members, he finished second to Atlanta's Josh Donaldson as the NL's Comeback Player of the Year.

Gray and Houston’s Justin Verlander were the only pitchers in the Major Leagues to make at least 30 starts and allow no more than four runs in any of those starts. Gray finished the season with an 11-8 record, a 2.87 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

Catcher was honored with the Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award. Respected for his affable personality, accountability to the media and leadership inside the clubhouse, Barnhart won the award -- named after the late beloved broadcaster -- for the second time in three years.

On the Minor League side, right fielder was honored with the Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award as the organization's Minor League Player of the Year. Aquino was NL Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for August while establishing modern Major League records for fewest career plate appearances -- 122 -- to 15 homers. After his promotion on Aug. 1, among all Major Leaguers, Aquino was tied for third in homers (19) and third in RBIs (47).

The organization's other Minor League award winners honored on Friday included Hitter of the Year Jose Garcia, who knocked 37 doubles and eight homers over 104 games for Class A Daytona, and Pitcher of the Year lefty Packy Naughton, who recorded a 3.32 ERA over 28 games, across 157 innings, for Daytona and Double-A Chattanooga. Garcia is rated by MLP Pipeline as the ninth-best prospect in the organization, while Naughton is ranked 13th.

Outfielder Michael Siani, the Reds No. 8 prospect, received the organization's Minor League Community Service Award.