Dragon Tales: The Red Carpet


The season is now but a memory.  Disappointment after the shocking losses in Lansing have mellowed into a memory of the season highlights and hope for the future of these young players within the Reds organization.  So without further adieu here are the Blog Red Machine 2011 Dayton Dragons awards!

First here lets recognize the leaders in each statistical category starting with the offense.

Ronald Torreyes has good numbers but joined the team late .  The same can be said for Dominic D’Anna whose absence due to injury was felt in the playoffs.  Three names dominate the offensive categories:  Billy Hamilton, David Vidal and Donald Lutz.  The team would not have succeeded without each of these players contributions.  With the positives come the negatives:

Juan Duran is a top Reds prospect but is exceedingly raw hence the strikeouts.  Not a lot to say about Hamilton here.  He needs better plate discipline, the caught stealing numbers are as much a result of encouragement from Delino DeShields to see just how big a risk he can take without being caught.  He would take incredible leads with hyper vigilant opposing batteries.

It is the errors number that I must again comment on.  This number is extremely misleading because while Hamilton makes mistakes in the field many are because he gets to balls no one else at any level of baseball can even reach because of his speed.  When asked about his team defense toward the end of August, DeShields was more concerned with the lack of range that Ronald Torreyes uses, than the errors Billy commits.  Ronald committed just 3 errors, so I found this a telling observation.

Let’s turn now to the pitching staff an take a look at their production:

The starters were a three headed monster with the performance of Daniel Corcino, Daniel Renken and Josh Smith.  Renken left in early August to keep him from finishing at the top of many categories and he had several unfortunate, undeserved losses but his promotion was he last laugh.

The bullpen was equally tough with the amazing job Drew Hayes, Daniel Wolford and Blaine Hayes produced.  With Smith leading the league in strikeouts and wins and Hayes leading in Saves, the Dragons had a lot to brag about.  That is what makes the playoff home run Drew Hayes allowed so painful.  It was his first blown save of the season.

Not a lot to say about these numbers.  With the other starters on the roster it puts Tanner Robles in a bad place.  Kyle Lotzkar was average at best and was injured for half of the season.

Now that we have the number in front of us lets present our Awards.

Batter of the Year:  Billy Hamilton.

It would be easy to give this award to either Vidal or Lutz but when you come to the ball park there is only one player that changes the game with every at bat.  He can turn a walk into run without any help.  My dad is not a big fan of baseball or sports in general and yet even he is energized when Billy steps into the batters box.

Starter of the Year:  Josh Smith

Could have given this to Daniel Corcino but Smith had a winning record at home and on the road.  Corcino was 10-2 at home but only 1-5 on the road.  I value consistency.

Reliever of the Year:  Drew Hayes

In awarding this to Drew I want to offer an honorable mention to Daniel Wolford.  His 32.1 scoreless streak in July and August was impressive.

Player of the Year:  Billy Hamilton

The point of the minor leagues is for a player to grow and develop.  After finishing May with a .215 batting average he worked hard to finish at a respectable .278.  Any time a player sets a minor league record for the franchise they have accomplished something special and with 103 steals Billy did just that.  He has a lot of work to do before he arrives in the major leagues but he has earned his next promotion and I look for him in Carolina before 2012 ends.

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