Your nominations were taken and deliberated, and now it's time to announce our 2010 Arpy Award winners. For each category we'll name the finalists and a winner. First up...
Best Lead Actor, Pitching Division. This category was about who had the best year on the mound among players who will garner top prospect consideration. The first finalist is Jeremy Hellickson, who carved up the International League to the tune of a 2.45 ERA and a 123-35 SO-BB rate before moving to the majors, where he put up similar results. In 117.2 innings with the Durham Bulls, Hellickson allowed less than a hit per inning (103) and just five home runs.
Matt Moore was perhaps the most dominating pitcher in the minors, and for that he is finalist #2. He shrugged off a slow start with the Charlotte Stone Crabs to finish with 208 strikeouts, the most in a regular season in the minor leagues since 2002. Batters hit just .210 off him, and he got better as the season went on. In 14 second-half starts, Moore allowed a total of 13 earned runs, supported by a ridiculous 130-24 SO-BB.
Our final finalist comes from the Princeton Rays. Enny Romero led the Appalachian League in ERA with a 1.95 mark, and was third in strikeouts with 72 (in 69.1 innings). Romero also showed advanced control for a rookie-baller, issuing only 14 walks. He also made one start for Hudson Valley, where he allowed only one run in 5 innings of work.
And the Arpy goes to... Jeremy Hellickson! It was extremely close with Matt Moore, but Hellickson's season-long consistency won out in the end, and his major-league success didn't hurt.
Next category is Best Lead Actor, Hitting Division. Henry Wrigley and Stephen Vogt are our two finalists here in somewhat of a down year for the hitters. Both helped lead the offensive charge for the Charlotte Stone Crabs, though Wrigley was promoted to Montgomery halfway through the year. With the Crabs, Wrigley posted a .292/.343/.504 line with 12 home runs and 13 doubles. Vogt didn't get everyday playing time until the weather heated up, but his bat was hot all year long. In 106 games, Vogt hit a league-leading .345, backed up with a .399 OBP and .511 SLG. He was a doubles machine, hitting 31 of them.
And the Arpy goes to... Stephen Vogt. Wrigley couldn't completely keep up his pace with the Biscuits, but Vogt would get the nod just looking at FSL numbers. His .910 OPS led the league, and by a .055 margin.
The next category is Best Supporting Actor, Pitching Division. These are the guys who aren't going to be tossed around top prospect lists for whatever reasons, but whose numbers are too good to ignore. Frank De Los Santos actually could get some top 15 buzz, but he might be perfect for this category. Matt Moore and Nick Barnese headlined the Crabs rotation, but De Los Santos led the team in innings pitched and continued to induce a ton of groundballs, boasting a 2.28 GO/AO.
Zach Quate got the saves, Josh Satow got the promotion to Montgomery, and Marquis Fleming got the starring role in a commercial, so that leaves Neil Schenk to receive the Arpy nomination from the Charlotte bullpen. In 67.2 innings, Schenk struck out 86 and walked 25, doing his part to make the Crabs' pitching staff one of the best in the minors.
Joe Bateman led the Durham Bulls in both ERA (1.66) and appearances (54), proving to be perhaps Charlie Montoyo's most reliable bullpen option. He struck out 66 and walked 25 over 76 innings, and held opponents to a .206 batting average.
And the Arpy goes to... Joe Bateman! The Rays will be looking to piece together a bullpen for the 2011 season, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rays give Bateman a look in the spring.
Our final category today is Best Supporting Actor, Hitting Division. While we like to recognize a few players in each category, this one completely belongs to one player.
And the Arpy goes to... Dan Johnson! Major-league heroics? Check. International League HR leader? Check, despite only playing 98 games there. Oh, and he hit over .300 with the Bulls.
Check back later this week for the second half of the awards!