The Tampa Bay Rays have announced their organizational award winners for this season.
Prior to tonight’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Rays honored the following players as the Player of the Year, at their respective level.
- Tampa Bay Rays – Steven Souza Jr (OF)
- Triple-A Durham Bulls – Willy Adames (INF)
- Double-A Montgomery Biscuits – Justin Williams (OF)
- High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs – Brandon Lowe (INF)
- Low-A Bowling Green Hot Rods – Jesus Sanchez (OF)
- Short Season Hudson Valley Renegades – Vidal Brujan (INF)
- Rookie Princeton Rays – Ronaldo Hernandez (C)
- Gulf Coast League Rays – Jonathan Aranda (INF)
- Dominican Summer League Rays I – Yunior Martinez (OF)
- Dominican Summer League II – Aldenis Sanchez (OF)
The club also announced several other award winners for their efforts in 2017.
Outstanding Rookie – Jacob Faria (RHP)
Became the fifth player since 1913 to start his career by going 6+ innings, allowing one run or fewer, while earning the win in his first three starts. He’ll finish the season (5-4; 3.33) with 82 strikeouts in 83.2 innings pitched.
Minor League Player of the Year – Jesus Sanchez (OF)
In 117 games, batted .305 with 15 home runs and 82 RBI for Durham. Led the Midwest League in average and RBI, while finishing second in hits.
Minor League Pitcher of the Year – Yonny Chirinos (RHP)
Between Montgomery and Durham, posted a 13-5 record with a 2.73 ERA.
Baserunner of the Year – Lucius Fox (INF)
With a 69.7% success rate, Fox ranked second in the organization with 30 stolen bases.
Reliever of the Year – Diego Castillo (RHP)
In 51 appearances between Montgomery and Durham, Castillo posted a 2.76 ERA while converting on 15-of-18 save opportunities.
Defensive Player of the Year – Nick Ciuffo (C)
This is the second straight season that Ciuffo has taken home the honor. In 2017, he threw out 23-of-60 would-be base stealers. In 619.1 innings he recorded.
Erik Walker Community Champion – Miles Mastrobuoni (INF)
The award is given out annual to a minor-leaguer who exhibits teamwork, sportsmanship, and community involvement. Named after a former prospect that tragically passed away in 2006, after his first season of pro ball, the Rays Baseball Foundation will donate $2,500 to the charity of Mastrobuoni’s choosing.
Paul C. Smith Champion Award – Alex Cobb (RHP)
Given to the player that exemplifies the spirit of professionalism on and off the field.