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Rays announce 2022 Minor League award winners

1B Kyle Manzardo named Minor League Player of the Year, LHP Mason Montgomery Minor League Pitcher of the Year

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays
Aranda nabs an honor
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

via team press release: The Tampa Bay Rays have announced the winners of their 2022 Minor League awards:

  • Minor League Player of the Year: 1B Kyle Manzardo, Bowling Green/Montgomery – Batting .327/.426/.617 (106-for-324) with 26 2B, 22 HR, 81 RBI and 59 BB through 93 games, including 10 2B, 5 HR and 26 RBI in 30 games since his Aug 9 promotion to Montgomery. He leads Rays minor leaguers in avg., on-base pct., slugging pct. and OPS (1.043), is tied for 3rd in homers, ranks 4th in RBI, 5th in extra-base hits (49) and 6th in walks. Min. 200 AB, he led the South Atlantic League in avg. (.329), slugging pct. (.636) and OPS (1.072) and ranked 2nd in the league in on-base pct. (.436).
  • Minor League Pitcher of the Year: LHP Mason Montgomery, Bowling Green/Montgomery – Is 6-3 with a 2.10 ERA (124-IP, 29-ER) and 171 SO in 27 starts between the two levels. He began the season with Bowling Green and made 16 starts there, ranking among South Atlantic League leaders in ERA (1.81, 1st), strikeouts (118, 1st), WHIP (1.09, 2nd) and opp avg. (.194, 2nd) at the time of his July 12 promotion to Montgomery. He has made 11 starts for the Biscuits, yielding 3 runs (or fewer) in each outing, including an active streak of 5 starts of 1 run (or fewer). He leads Rays minor leaguers in ERA, strikeouts, starts, innings pitched and opp avg. (.196) and ranks 3rd in WHIP (1.06). The 171 SO rank 4th across all of Minor League Baseball and are tied for 9th for a Rays minor leaguer in franchise history.
  • Relief Pitcher of the Year: RHP Javy Guerra, Durham – Went 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA (41.1-IP, 8-ER) in 43 apps for the Bulls, including a scoreless streak of 16 IP from July 13–Sep 2. He was selected to the major league roster on Sep 12, his third stint with the Rays after being acquired from the Padres for cash considerations on April 17. He debuted in the majors as a position player in May 2018 before converting to pitcher during spring training in 2019.
  • Defensive Player of the Year: INF Carson Williams, Charleston – Appeared in 108 games (all starts) at shortstop in his first full professional season after being selected No. 28 overall in the 2021 Amateur Draft. He recorded a .968 fielding pct., making 13 errors in 401 chances. He leads Rays minor leaguers and ranks 9th in the minors with 252 assists. He made 6 errors in 83 starts from May 17 through season’s end, compared to 7 errors in his first 25 starts.
  • Baserunner of the Year: OF Mason Auer, Charleston/Bowling Green – Was successful on 87.3 pct. (48 of 55) of stolen base attempts between two levels. He leads Rays minor leaguers in stolen bases and is tied for 19th across Minor League Baseball. At the time of his June 27 promotion to Bowling Green, his 24 SB tied for 6th in the Carolina League. From his Hot Rods debut through the end of the season, he led the South Atlantic League with 24 SB.
  • Erik Walker Community Champion: 1B Bobby Seymour, Charleston – Named after former Rays minor league pitcher Erik Walker, who died tragically in 2006 following his first season in professional baseball, the award annually recognizes a Rays minor leaguer who exemplifies teamwork, sportsmanship and community involvement. Seymour was selected from a field that included nominees from each Rays affiliate. The Rays Baseball Foundation will make a $2,500 donation in Seymour’s name to his chosen charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The Rays also announced the Most Valuable Players for each of their seven affiliates:

  • Triple-A Durham MVP: INF Jonathan Aranda – Hit .318/.394/.521 (128-for-403) with 26 2B, 18 HR and 85 RBI in 104 games for the Bulls. Despite three stints in the majors, he ranks among International League leaders in avg. (2nd), OPS (.915, 2nd), on-base pct. (3rd), hits (6th), slugging pct. (6th), RBI (tied for 6th) and total bases (210, 7th).
  • Double-A Montgomery MVP: INF Brett Wisely – Batting .274/.371/.460 (118-for-430) with 23 2B, 15 HR and 56 RBI in 112 games for the Biscuits. He ranks among Southern League leaders in runs (84, 1st), avg. (5th), OPS (.831, 5th), hits (tied for 5th), extra-base hits (44, tied for 6th), on-base pct. (7th), slugging pct. (8th) and stolen bases (31, 8th).
  • High-A Bowling Green MVP: OF Heriberto Hernández – Hit .255/.368/.499 (107-for-419) with 28 2B, 24 HR and 89 RBI in 119 games for the Hot Rods. He led the South Atlantic League in RBI and extra-base hits (53), both of which rank 1st among Rays minor leaguers. He ranked among league leaders in homers (2nd), total bases (209, 2nd), doubles (3rd), OPS (.867, 3rd) walks (67, 4th), slugging pct. (4th), runs (70, tied for 6th), hits (10th) and on-base pct. (10th).
  • Low-A Charleston MVP: OF Shane Sasaki – Hit .324/.410/.497 (112-for-346) with 27 2B, 9 HR, 57 RBI and 47 SB in 89 games for the RiverDogs. He ranks 2nd among Rays minor leaguers in on-base pct. and stolen bases. He led the Carolina League in avg., on-base pct., slugging pct. and OPS, ranked 3rd in doubles and tied for 3rd in steals.
  • Rookie-level FCL Rays MVP: INF Junior Caminero – Hit .326/.403/.492 (43-for-132) with 5 2B, 5 HR and 31 RBI in 36 games for the FCL Rays, earning an Aug 10 promotion to Charleston. Min. 100 AB, he ranked among Florida Complex League leaders in AB/RBI ratio (4.26, 3rd), OPS (8th), avg. (9th), on-base pct. (9th) and slugging pct. (11th). At the time of his promotion, he ranked 2nd in the league in RBI, was tied for 4th in hits and ranked 6th in total bases (65).
  • Rookie-level DSL Tampa Bay MVP: OF Ángel Mateo – Hit .269/.395/.433 (46-for-171) with 7 2B, 7 HR and 25 RBI in 52 games. He led the team in runs (32), hits, doubles and homers, tied for 2nd in RBI and ranked 3rd in steals (10).
  • Rookie-level DSL Rays MVP: 1B/OF Elias Petiyan – Hit .339/.430/.496 (39-for-115) with 9 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR and 14 RBI in 36 games. Min. 100 AB, he led the DSL Rays in avg., on-base pct., slugging pct. and OPS (.926).