Minnesota Twins announce 2018 season team awards
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins have announced who will be receiving team awards such as Player of the Year, Best Pitcher, among other awards on Thursday.
The Minnesota Twins announced Thursday the results of the franchise’s season awards as voted on by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. The award winners announced will all be honored at the 14th annual Diamond Awards in January.
Leading the way was the Twins Player of the year award winner, Eddie Rosario. Over the past two seasons, Rosario has proven that he has the ability to be an important part of a Twins lineup. Rosario ended 2018 with a .288/.323/.479 and .803 OPS and 24 home runs which really isn’t that much different from his 2017 .290/.328/.507 and 27 home runs. In a down year on the field for the team, Rosario is certainly being rewarded for his amazing stretch of hitting in May and June. Through that stretch, Rosario hit .350/.391/.650 with a 1.041 OPS and 15 home runs.
The downfall to his season was that Rosario spent the last half of the season struggling at the plate and only hit .240/.262/.361. The only other player that was potentially deserving of the Player of the Year award was voted as the Twins best pitcher, Jose Berrios. Ervin Santana‘s injury to start the season accelerated Berrios’ status as the Twins top starter and the young right-hander responded well.
Berrios logged a career high 192.1 innings in 32 games, held a 3.84 ERA, 202 strikeouts (9.5 K/9) and 61 walks, all good for a 12-11 record. Those numbers along with two complete games and a shutout helped Berrios earn his first ever All-Star appearance. There are still hopefully more developmental steps for the 24-year-old to take, but it was clear in 2018 that Berrios is ready to be a steadying force at or near the top of the Twins rotation.
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Jake Cave was voted as the Twins Rookie of the Year. Cave was acquired by the Twins from the New York Yankees last offseason as an outfielder with a promising bat. He certainly impressed in his first taste of major league action as he hit .269/.316/.481 with 13 home runs and 17 doubles. He also provided the Twins with a good defensive corner outfielder and was a serviceable replacement in center as Buxton was missing from the lineup.
Even though his offensive output was down outside of reaching the 20 home run mark, Max Kepler was voted as the team’s best defensive player. Kyle Gibson will walk away with the titles of Most Improved and Media Good Guy. Then there was Joe Mauer who was voted the Upper Midwest Player of the Year.
While team awards for a 78-84 team may feel a little silly at times, each of these players worked hard all season to help out their team and are deserving of each award. As they gather in January to be honored at what will hopefully be a springboard at the start of 2019 and another competitive season from the Twins.