Twins announce Diamond Award recipients
Winners selected by Twin Cities Baseball Writers Association; Ninth annual Diamond Awards event set for January 23, 2014
The Minnesota Twins announced the Diamond Awards, their annual awards for the 2013 season based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. In addition, the Twins and the BBWAA announced plans for the Ninth Annual Diamond Awards which will be held January 23, 2014 at Target Field and will benefit research, education, and care in brain, nerve and muscle disorders at the University of Minnesota.
Catcher Joe Mauer is the winner of the Calvin R. Griffith Award (the Twins first owner) given to the Most Valuable Twin. Mauer appeared in 113 games, batting .324 (144-for-445) with 35 doubles, 11 home runs and 47 RBI. Mauer started at catcher in the 2013 All-Star Game. This marks Mauer's third time winning this award, previously receiving it in 2009 and 2010.
Left-handed pitcher Glen Perkins is the winner of the Joseph W. Haynes Award (Former Twins Executive Vice-President) given to the Twins Pitcher of the Year along with the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award. Perkins saved 36 games this season, posting a 2.30 ERA while striking out 77 batters in 62.2 innings, earning his first career All-Star honor.
Left-handed pitcher Caleb Thielbar is the winner of the Bill Boni Award (Former St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press Executive Sports Editor) given to the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie. The Randolph, Minn. native posted a 1.76 ERA (46.0 IP, 9 ER) with opponents hitting .154 (24-for-156) in 49 appearances. He tied for fifth most appearances among American League rookies and began his career with a 17.1 scoreless inning streak, setting a club record.
Infielder Brian Dozier is the winner of the Charles O. Johnson Award (Former Minneapolis Star Tribune Sports Editor) given to the Twins Most Improved Player as well as the Mike Augustin "Media Good Guy" Award (Former Pioneer Press Sports Writer). Dozier led the Twins in games played (147) and home runs (18) while hitting .244 (136-for-558) with 33 doubles, 66 RBI, 72 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. He set a club record for home runs by a second baseman and ranked third among AL second basemen in extra-base hits with 55.
Shortstop Pedro Florimon is the second ever recipient of the Jim Kaat Award (Former Twins Pitcher) for Twins Defensive Player of the Year. The Dominican Republic native played in 133 games, committing 18 errors in 664 total chances for a .973 fielding percentage. The 133 games were the most for a Twins shortstop since 2007. He was involved in 101 double plays, the second most in baseball at the position and posted the fourth best zone rating among AL shortstops.
For the third time in his career and second straight season, Justin Morneau is the winner of the Bob Allison Award (Former Twins Player) given to the Twins player who exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field. Justin, along with his wife Krista, are active in many off-field charitable events throughout the season, including Justin Morneau Casino Night, which raises money for the Arthritis Foundation. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the end of August after 10-plus seasons with the Twins.
Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann is the winner of the Dick Siebert Award (Former University of Minnesota Baseball Coach) given to the Upper Midwest Player of the Year. Zimmermann, who grew up in Auburndale, Wis. and attended the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, went 19-9, with a 3.25 ERA (213.1 IP, 77 ER) in 32 starts for the Nationals this season. He is just the second non-Twin to win the award in the last eight seasons.
The Ninth Annual Diamond Awards dinner, which will be held on Thursday, January 23, 2014 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Target Field, will honor the 2013 BBWAA award recipients as well as the winners of the Sherry Robertson Award (Byron Buxton) for Twins Minor League Player of the Year, the Jim Rantz Award (Andrew Albers) for Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and the Kirby Puckett Alumni Community Service Award (Frank Quilici).
All proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Minnesota's innovative research and patient care focused on ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), ataxia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Along with the award winners, current and former Twins players and coaches are scheduled to appear at the event. Corporate sponsorship opportunities, tables and individual tickets are now available. For more information on the event visit minnesotadiamondawards.org or call (612) 624-4444.