In a blatant attempt to ruin the 2002 Final GBI, Yesterday, the Washington Nationals honored six minor leaguers with their 2022 Minor League Awards:
- Hitters of the Year – OFs Jeremy De La Rosa and James Wood
- Pitcher of the Year – RHP Cade Cavalli
- “Nationals Way” Award – IF Jake Alu
- Defensive Player – SS Jordy Barley
- Baserunner of the Year – OF Jacob Young
Wood’s inclusion seems odd, given that he played in just 21 games for the system, though he was outstanding. Maybe they needed a “5” for the pickup basketball game afterward?
As noted in the thunder-stolen-from GBI, one year’s “Bad” can the next’s “Good” as the 20-y.o. De La Rosa was on fire during his time in Fredericksburg, though he cooled off considerably after his promotion to Wilmington.
Cavalli, who was not in a sling for the photo shoot is a repeat from last year. He spent all but one start at AAA Rochester where he finished strong (3-2, 2.85 ERA in last 8GS) before getting the bump and then getting thumped by the Marlins in his MLB debut. He was then shut down, though the word is that he’s throwing again pain-free.
Alu, who arguably was the best hitter in the system (honorable mention to Andrew Stevenson), is the second “Nationals Way” award, formerly known as the Bob Boone Award. He appears to be following in the steps of Jake Noll which may mean he’s on his way to the 40-man, as all but one (Jack Dunn) has had a cup of coffee in the majors.
Barley was last year’s baserunner of the year and had 13 errors in 85 games. With the “plethora” of Blue Rocks games on MiLB.tv, I can’t comment on his defense. This may be his moment in the sun unless he starts hitting, as he posted just a .545 OPS at Wilmington.
Young led the system with 52 steals and was caught just seven times (worth noting: Barley for 34-for-38). As noted in the comments, this was from a guy who didn’t nearly as much in college, though that’s hardly a fair comparison given the differences in rules and conditions.