This is WAY overdue,but I wanted to get this finished before Spring Training,so here goes.
Again with apologies to the Olympics and Keith Olbermann, here are our awards for the 2008 Minor League season.
Some categories are restricted to the South Atlantic and Carolina Leagues,while others are open to other leagues.
To win an award,you must have played/been at a game that we attended this past year.
The 2007 awards are here.
Best Prospect-SAL/Non-Suns Position Player
Gold: Dominic Brown OF Lakewood-When this guy fills out,watch out!Think Darryl Strawberry with top notch speed.
Silver:Mike Stanton OF Greensboro-Could be a legit 35 homer player down the road.
Bronze:Matt Dominguez 3b Greensboro-Talented player that needs more seasoning.
Best Prospect-Hagerstown Suns Position Player
Gold:Michael Burgess OF- Talent is there,but questions about contact,speed and makeup still plague him.
Silver:Stephen King 3b-Needs to mature on the field more,but took a step forward.Would like to see him get one more shot at SS though.
Bronze:Bill Rhinehart 1b- Hit the ball well at two levels,but have the feeling that he was just too old for the levels.2009 tells the tale....
Best Prospect SAL Pitcher
Gold:Brad Lincoln-Hickory-Destroyed the Suns in his last SAL start and showed flashes of what he could be.Needs to move quickly this season.
Silver:Julian Sampson-Lakewood-Throws a heavy ball and could be top notch prospect with some extra weight on his frame.
Bronze: Chance Chapman-Lakewood-Pitched better than Sampson last season,but lacks the stuff of Sampson.
Honorable Mention:Rob Bryson-West Virginia-Traded to Cleveland after his appearance,suffered an injury and will miss most of 2009.
Cliff Flagello-Delmarva-I don't usually like to rate relievers,but his arm shows potential to play in MLB.
Best Prospect-Suns Pitcher
Gold;Colton Willems-Nice control,but low K numbers.
Colton just doesn't miss many bats.
Silver:Tom Milone-Dominated SAL Batters,but polished college pitchers do well here.
Bronze:Bradley Meyers-Regressed from 2007.What happened????
Best Signer/Dealing with fans-Non Suns
Gold:Tyler Henson-Delmarva-Signed as much as you needed him to and talked as well.
Silver:Dominic Brown-Lakewood-Talked to me a lot and signed everything with a smile.
Bronze:Cliff Flagello-Delmarva-Always had time for signing and a quick chat.
Honorable Mention:Brian Rike-Asheville-I had a bunch of cards for him,he signed them all and was willing to talk about his college days....
Best Signer/Dealing with fans-Suns
Gold:Darnell Coles-Have the Suns EVER had a manager that was more fan friendly?
Not that I know of!
Silver:Tim Pahuta-The exact type of veteran player that you like to have at the A ball level.
Sets a good example for the younger guys in interaction with the fans.
Bronze;Colton Willems;Kinda quiet,but signs everything.
Biggest Aggravation-Autograph Division-SAL
Gold:Matt Cusick-Lexington-Never had a player pretend to be someone else in Hagerstown before!
Silver:Michael Burgess-Hagerstown-Was fine early on until a "Paid signing session". A royal pain thereafter.
Bronze:Brent Brewer-West Virginia-One card a night? You hit .220!
Honorable Mention:Bill Rhinehart-Hagerstown/Harrisburg-Liked to avoid and evade collectors.
I never did get him,someone else helped me with him,Thanks to Bill Cover!
Biggest Aggravation-Autograph Division-Non SAL
Gold:Matt Wieters-Frederick-Wieters wins this award,not for lack of signing.He was fine.
He wins it for the LONG lines that you always had to wait in line in for him to sign.
Silver:John Van Benschoten-Indianapolis-One Word-NO!
Bronze:Eric Campbell-Myrtle Beach-It takes a special player to blow people off two years in a row and become the first two time winner in a category!
Best Fan Moments:
Gold:Battlin Bob gives Matt Wieters crap after he misses one pitch-"Hey,Wieters,way to go for the fences"!
Next pitch Wieters smacks the delivery off the Washington Monument!
Silver:Karl Bolt Night-Obnoxious Suns fan rides this guy ALL NIGHT in a way that everyone in the park hears.Bolt then ties the game in the 9th with a three run homer and gives it back to the guy as he rounds first base!
Bronze:Battlin Bob runs into the man that cost him his job and months of employment at the Muni.
Guy:Hey,how's it going?
Battlin Bob:How's it goin? I have been out of work for the last few F!@#^*g months and you want to ask me how the F$%* its goin?????
Honorable Mention:Battlin Bob takes on Drew Himsworth after yet another Suns suite area fiasco....
Darnell Coles throws 2 dozen baseballs on the field after being ejected before what seemed to be 12 people in an extra inning game against Lexington.
Red Stripe Hot Dog night-on a Feed Your Face night,the Suns kept producing these bad tasting and Cardassian lookalike dogs.
Best Autograph Park
Worst Autograph Park