Be on guard, Miguel Cabrera! Failure to put up Triple Crown contention numbers every year and your days may be numbered.
Lose a step on defense, have the Detroit Tigers’ go to a defense-first mentality, and want a day off and it could be “Miguel, meet Wally Pipp!” That’s because there is a defensive machine waiting in the wings in the Tigers’ organization.
Jordan Lennerton was picture perfect this year for the Tiger Triple-A affiliate, Toledo, this year. That is not just alliteration; it’s fact. Lennerton had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in grabbing his second consecutive Minor League Golden Glove. In 121 games this year, he posted 1,058 putouts, with 69 assists. He had a hand in 107 Toledo Mudhen double plays.
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. announced Monday that Lennerton and eight other Minor League Baseball recipients had been chosen for Gold Glove awards for defensive excellence at their positions. The honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor Leagues. Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players, during the 2015 season.
“Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award,” said Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of baseball for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings; and we knew the Rawlings Gold Glove Award would be a popular goal for many young players when we decided to rekindle this award platform in 2011.”
Rawlings stopped the minor league version of the award in the 1960s.
“Each year, it is a privilege to join in the announcement of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and help recognize the top defensive players in Minor League Baseball,” said Pat O’Conner, president & CEO of Minor League Baseball. “All nine of these players displayed extraordinary skills at their positions this season, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment.”
Joining Lennerton as Minor League Baseball recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award are:
– Second base: Tony Kemp in the Houston Astro organization. Kemp put up a .987 fielding percentage through 120 games split between Corpus Christi and Lancaster. The second baseman had 225 putouts with 292 assists and 67 double plays.
– Shortstop: Hanser Alberto in the Texas Ranger organization. The Frisco RoughRider posted a .980 fielding percentage during a 114-game span, with 190 putouts and 346 assists. Alberto began the 2014 season with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach where he split time between shortstop and third base.
– Third base: Jason Espositio in the Baltimore Oriole farm system. The third baseman of the Frederick Keys had a .960 fielding percentage with 83 putouts and 257 assists through 118 games. The Connecticut native turned a league-leading 19 double plays.
– Left field: Chad Wright in the Tiger farm system. Wright put up a .990 fielding percentage during 102 games as a left fielder for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. He had 191 putouts with nine assists and turned three double plays.
– Center field: Breland Almadova in the Arizona Diamondback organization. The center fielder posted a .995 fielding percentage during 131 games while splitting the season between South Bend and Visalia. He had 345 putouts while only committing two errors.
– Right field: Michael Ratterree in the Milwaukee Brewer organization. The Wisconsin Timber Rattler put up a .992 fielding percentage with 252 putouts and 10 assists for 126 games. Ratterree completed two double plays and committed only two errors on the season.
– Catcher: Roberto Pena in the Astro farm system. Pena, who plays for the Lancaster JetHawks, posted a .996 fielding percentage in 93 games. He had a league-leading 755 putouts with 84 assists and allowed only seven passed balls. Pena also topped the league in double plays (9) and runners caught stealing (52).
– Pitcher: Josh Geer in the San Diego Padre organization. The right-handed hurler of the San Antonio Missions posted a perfect fielding percentage with six putouts and a league-leading 36 assists. With a quick delivery to the plate, Geer combined with his catchers to throw out 12 of 25 runners attempting to steal.