And now, after that thrilling series about the Bluefield Blue Jays, we get to the only Blue Jays farm club to win their league, the Northwest League champions (for the third time in a row) Vancouver Canadians.
It looks like the 3-part series has morphed into a 4-part series. This is part 1 (team awards), part 2 will deal with starting pitchers, part 3 with relief pitchers and part 4 the hitters. Unfortunately there won’t be as many lovely photos of the Vancouver Canadians, seeing as I never made it all the way out to Vancouver to cover the team in person. There are a few guys I got photos of when they were with either Bluefield or Lansing.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion
For those of you following along with my daily Minor League Reports on Jays Journal (that I started at the old Blue Jays from Away blogger site) and on Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been “awarding” 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 without much more ado, here comes my rationale for the system.
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 or three shares. If two players earned PotG mention, they each received 0.5 points and if three players earned mentions, they each received 0.3 points.
Here are the final standings for Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game for the Vancouver Canadians:
Congrats to 2013 Vancouver Canadians Player of the Game Champion (and Northwest League MVP) L.B. Dantzler! I don’t want to gloat (ok, I will) but Dantzler was one of the guys that I thought would really make an impact out of this year’s draft.
Playoffs were included, which is why you see Tom Robson with such a high score but it goes to show you how good the youngster from Ladner, B.C. was — he was the best player on the team in most of the games he pitched.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
The position player of the year for the Vancouver Canadians is also L.B. Dantzler. Chaz Frank really made a push (mostly due to his .412 OBP) but his weak slugging and high CS% enabled Dantzler to run away with it.
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
I really wanted to give this one to Tom Robson, I really did. His lack of innings, however, really worked against him in the long run despite his masterpiece in the decisive Game 3 of the NWL finals. So, congratulations to Kyle Anderson on a fantastic year with the C’s!
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
This was a particularly tough decision. Do you go with a reliever who logged more innings and had pinpoint control or do you go with the closer who posted unreal strikeout numbers and was trusted to finish 23 of the team’s games?
I had to go with the underdog since I think the closer’s role is highly overrated (sorry Chuck). Matt Dermody is our reliever of the year in a very close race with Chuck Ghysels. More about both of these excellent pitchers in Part 3 of the series.
Blue Jays from Away Most Improved Player
Shortstop Dickie Thon is our most improved player in another close race. Thon improved his batting average over 60 points, his OBP almost 40 points and his slugging percentage almost 70 point playing in Vancouver, a higher level than he played at in 2012. An injury shortened his season and we’re hoping Thon, who’s 21, can put together a complete season soon. Runners up were Eric Brown and Kyle Anderson.