This is an excerpt from a piece that appears in full on Zone Coverage here.
On Wednesday the Minnesota Twins announced the winners of their Sherry Robertson (Minor League Player of the Year) and Jim Rantz (Minor League Pitcher of the Year) Awards.
Catcher Mitch Garver got the nod for the Robertson Award, and it was richly deserved after the numbers he posted at Triple-A Rochester.
Garver was rewarded with a call-up to the big leagues after hitting a stellar .291/.387/.541 in 88 games with the Red Wings. While the 26-year-old Garver hit just .196/.288/.348 in his cup of coffee with the Twins, he did well to add some versatility in the minors which should help him claim a full-time roster spot in the big leagues in the near future. Besides making 66 starts behind the plate for the Red Wings — where he threw out 31 percent of attempted base thieves — Garver started 14 games in left field and four at first base.
It’s unclear what his future projection is in the big leagues due to the fact that he’ll already be 27 when the 2018 season starts, but if nothing else, he could have a future as a platoon bat after slashing .290/.408/.530 against lefties this past season. He wasn’t too shabby against righties — .273/.361/.509 — either.
Previous Robertson Award winners include:
- Zack Granite – 2016
- Max Kepler – 2015
- Kennys Vargas – 2014
- Byron Buxton – 2013
- Oswaldo Arcia – 2012
- Brian Dozier – 2011
Right-handed starter Aaron Slegers was named the winner of the Rantz Award, as both award winners appeared in the big leagues for the first time this past season.