As the season progresses in 2005, we can track the award nominees in each of these categories. If you want to make any predictions just copy the template below and fill in your choices.
"What went right" Award :
"Out of nowhere" Award :
"Disappointment" Award :
"Surprise performance" Award :
"Worst Loss to Injury" Award :
"Star Rookie" Award :
"Fast Track Rookie" Award :
"Wait til Next Year" Award :
I did not do this last year, but here are the winners from 2003
The D-Rays 03 "What went right" Award : This award goes out to Aubrey Huff. He went out and showed that his 02 second half was no fluke. He put up offensive numbers that makes him one of the best young players in the game. With his 30 HRS , 100 RBIs, 300 BA, and an OPS in the 900s, he is the team's best player. He was converted to an outfielder this season to find a place for his live bat .
The D-Rays 03 "Out of nowhere" Award : This award goes out to Jeremi Gonzalez. He had not pitched in the majors in a few years after being a highly touted young arm in the Cubs system. He had been out of baseball entirely for about a year due to arm troubles and had not pitched in the Majors in over two years. Jeremi pitched well in Spring Training but found himself not making the D-Rays team. He continued his quest to return to the majors with the AAA Durham Bulls. He pitched well enough with the D-Rays minor league club that he earned a another chance at the majors. The fact that he made it back was impressive enough, but he went on to be one of the Rays top two starters with a 3.81 ERA.
The D-Rays 03 "Disappointment" Award : This award goes out to Dewon Brazelton. He appeared on pace to make the Rays rotation out of Spring Training. However, with an injury in the late Spring cost him his shot to make the team out of the gate. So he went down to Durham and before May he was up with the D-Rays. He pitched decently at first, but his performance on the field looked as if he was not really ready. Then, he showed up late for to the park in the Bronx against the Yankees and Lou was beyond pissed as he questioned Brazelton's work ethic. Soon he was dumped from the rotation and the word was he was to be demoted. It was believed that he would go back to Durham and maybe would return later in the year. But, in a surprise move by the D-Rays brain trust, he was shipped all the way down to single A Bakersfield where the "word" was that he would work on his pitching mechanics.
The D-Rays 03 "Surprise performance" Award : This award goes out to Victor Zambrano who out pitched Hall of Famer Roger Clemens this summer in consecutive starts against the Yankees. Zambrano went on to become the Ace of the young Rays pitching staff.
The D-Rays 03 "Worst Loss to Injury" Award : This award goes out to Seth McClung. He pitched so well in spring Training and actually made the Rays pitching staff. He then got his shot at the pitching rotation where he was quite impressive. However, he sustained a major elbow injury and joined the list of young arms who season was shut down to Tommy John surgery. He most likely will miss the entire 04 season.
The D-Rays 03 "Star Rookie" Award : This award goes out to Rocco Baldelli who put up a terrific rookie campaign. He started the year extremely hot hitting over 300, and grabbing a lot of media attention where he was compared to a young Joe D. But, eventually he cooled off where it appears he will end the year with over 180 hits, 20 plus stolen bases, and close to a 300 batting average.
The D-Rays 03 "Fast Track Rookie" Award : This award goes out to pitcher Chad Gaudin who went from single A all the way to the majors in one season. He pitched a perfect game no hitter in his debut to the AA Orlando Rays and eventually earned a showcase in the D-Rays rotation. He has a chance to be in the rotation for next year.
The D-Rays 03 "Wait til Next Year" Award : This award goes out to pitcher Doug Waechter. This Tampa product who turned down the chance to play college football at home for the University of South Florida to join the D-Rays organization. He has been nothing but impressive since he joined the major league club. It will be exciting to see this local kid pitch in the years to come.