Twins announce winners of Diamond Awards
Sano highlights with Most Valuable Twin, Most Outstanding Rookie Awards
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced Tuesday the winners of the annual Diamond Awards, with designated hitter Miguel Sano winning both the Most Valuable Twin Award and the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie Award.
The 11th annual Diamond Awards, which will be held Jan. 28 at Target Field, are based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The event benefits research, education and care in brain, nerve and muscle disorders at the University of Minnesota.
Sano, who hit .269/.385/.530 with 18 homers and 17 doubles in 80 games, will take home the Calvin R. Griffith Award for Twins MVP and the Bill Boni Award for Twins Most Outstanding Rookie. Sano, 22, is the youngest player to be named Twins MVP and just the second to win the award as a rookie, joining Tony Oliva in 1964.
Veteran outfielder Torii Hunter is also set to receive two awards, as he was the winner of both the Bob Allison Award and the Mike Augustin "Media Good Guy" Award. The Bob Allison Award is given to the Twins player who exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson, who went 11-11 with a 3.84 ERA in a team-leading 32 starts, was named the Twins Pitcher of the Year and will receive the Joseph W. Haynes Award.
Outfielders Aaron Hicks and Eddie Rosario each won an award, as Hicks was named the Twins Most Improved Player, while Rosario was named the Twins Defensive Player of the Year. Hicks will take home the Charles O. Johnson Award, while Rosario is the winner of the Jim Kaat Award.
The Twins also honor the Upper Midwest Player of the Year, and it's Pirates reliever Tony Watson. Watson, who graduated from Dallas Center-Grimes High School in Grimes, Iowa, will receive the Dick Siebert Award.
For his off-the-field efforts, second baseman Brian Dozier is the winner of the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award. Dozier and his wife, Renee, go on mission trips every offseason as part of a group called Amigos for Christ. He also started a community ticket program called Dozier's Hero's, which allows returning military members and their families to attend Twins games. Additionally, former Twins first baseman Julio Becquer will receive the Kirby Puckett Alumni Community Service Award.
Top pitching prospect Jose Berrios, ranked as the No. 20 overall prospect by MLB.com, will receive the Jim Rantz Award for Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Fellow top prospect Max Kepler, ranked the No. 96 overall prospect by MLB.com, was named the Twins Minor League Player of the Year and will receive the Sherry Robertson Award.