Two of the New York Yankees minor leaguers trying to make it with the big squad this year—Eduardo Nunez and David Phelps—were given organizational minor league “Player of the Year” and “Pitcher of the Year” awards (Chad Jennings).
Nunez, 23, played in 118 games in Triple-A last season, where he hit .289 with a .721 OPS. He will be competing for a spot on the Yankees as a utility infielder. He’ll have to beat out Ramiro Pena to win the job.
Phelps, 24, split his season in Double-A and Triple-A last season. Overall, he pitched in 26 games with a 2.50 ERA, an 8.0 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9. Phelps is among the pitchers competing for a rotation spot, but he is quite a long shot.
What’s helping him is the fact that he has Triple-A experience, but holding him back is the fact that he is not yet on the 40-man roster. That gives young pitchers Andrew Brackman and Hector Noesi, who are already on the 40-man, a slight edge when it comes to making the team.
This is an organizational award given out by the Yankees, but it is interesting that they would pick these two players. It’s not that they aren’t deserving, as both had fine seasons, but the case could be made against either of them, especially Nunez.
Phelps is a solid pick. A case could potentially be made against him, but if you put up a 2.50 ERA over the course of a season, it means you had a pretty good season.
Perhaps the Yankees are trying to build these players' trade values by attaching these awards to their names.
What do you think? Did the Yankees honor the right players in choosing these awards?
December 15, 2010—Yankees Top 20 Prospects from John Sickels
January 1, 2010—John Sickels Ranks the Yanks
February 11, 2011—Yankees List Non-Roster Invitees
January 22, 2011—Yankees Prospect Profiles: RHP David Phelps