2009 Padres Awards: My Picks
Here’s my awards that I’m “giving” out to the boys for this season:
MVP: David Eckstein. Sure, it doesn’t look like it in the numbers, but his value to the team this year was unmeasurable. HONORABLE MENTION: Adrian Gonzalez (40 home runs and 99 RBIs)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Everth Cabrera. Beside showing us his incredible glove over at shortstop, he showed that he can also swing the bat pretty well. HONORABLE MENTIONS: Luke Gregerson, Kyle Blanks, Luis Durango, Will Venable.
VETERAN OF THE YEAR: This one is pretty hard, since mostly all the players this season were very young. But I’m going to go with Eck. He’s definitely a veteran, and he was just incredible for us this year. HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Kouzmanoff :) He’s been in the majors for three seasons now…that’s almost a veteran, right? :)
STARTER OF THE YEAR: Kevin Correia. We signed him to a minor league deal before Spring Training, and he had a great season. He had his downs, but he was able to put together a very good record. HONORABLE MENTION: Clayton Richard.
RELIEVER OF THE YEAR: Heath Bell. He had 40 saves, though he did blow quite a bit near the end. He settled right into the closer’s role in the place of Trevor Hoffman, which is not an easy spot to fill, and he showed that he can close games consistently. He makes things interesting, that’s for sure, but he gets the job done. HONORABLE MENTIONS: Greg Burke, Edward Mujica.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kevin Kouzmanoff. Of course. He had three errors in 309 chances for a .990 fielding percentage. I’d say that’s pretty good :) HONORABLE MENTION: Everth Cabrera.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: I’m going to go with Tony Gwynn here. He really wasn’t playing that well with Milwaukee, mostly because he wasn’t getting a chance. But when he came here, when he came home to San Diego, he thrived. He played a great center field and hit just like his dad. It was really cool to see.
SURPRISES OF THE YEAR: Mat Latos and Wade LeBlanc. Both are guys that have been in our minor league system for a while, and it was great to see them come up and do so well. Mat had a horrible Spring Training. It was his first time facing major league hitters, but still. He was not good. When he finally came up, he made some great starts. Wade also did awful late last year and earlier in the year. He was terrible! But he did something, and was able to have a string of excellent starts at the end of the season.
MOST PATHETIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brian Giles. First, he gets in a huge mess with his ex-girlfriend about abuse, then he gets hurt and misses a huge part of the season. Not good, Brian. Not good at all. NOT-SO-HONORABLE MENTION: Marcus Giles.
What a season. I just hope we can have all these positives with a winning record next season :)