The Omaha Storm Chasers had a pre-game ceremony on Sunday, August 26, announcing its annual awards, voted on by the media. Wil Myers picked up two of the awards -- hitter of the year and prospect of the year. Jake Odorizzi was named pitcher of the year.
Several other awards were handed out as well. Clint Robinson was named the most popular player, voted on by fans. And Kurt Mertins won the Johnny Rosenblatt Community Service Award, which is determined by the number of community appearances a player makes.
Finally, Myers was named as the PERT Plus MiLB Star Hitter, determined by a nationwide fan vote.
"Wil has simply been the best player in Minor League Baseball," said Omaha Storm Chasers president and general manager Martie Cordaro in a released statement. "All of us here associated with the Omaha Storm Chasers are extremely proud and excited for Wil."
Hitter and Prospect of the Year: Wil Myers
Myers leads Omaha in home runs (22) and he is tied for the team lead in RBIs (73), even though he has just played 92 games for the Chasers. He has slumped for brief periods of time this season in Triple-A, admitting that he was pressing, but he makes adjustments and is hitting .292 in August.
Myers was a Futures Game selection, a Pacific Coast League (PCL) mid-season All-Star and he was named to the All-PCL team today.
I cast my vote for Myers as both the hitter and prospect of the year for all of those reasons.
Anthony Seratelli (17 HR, 65 RBIs, .307 AVG) and Max Ramirez (15 HR, 70 RBIs, .297 AVG) are worthy of honorable mention in the hitter of the year category. You might expect to see Robinson somewhere in the mix, but he is having a down season (12 HR, 65 RBIs, .290 AVG) by his standards.
Pitcher of the Year: Jake Odorizzi
Odorizzi has won 10 of the 18 games he has appeared in (17 of which were starts). He has the best ERA (3.08) of any of the current starters and his strikeout to walk ration is better than two-to-one. He got off to a hot start, going 5-0 with a 2.83 ERA before the All-Star break and he has been solid since the break (5-3, 3.29 ERA).
I voted for Odorizzi, but I gave a long hard look at Ryan Verdugo (12-3, 3.37 ERA). His strikeout to walk ration is just under two-to-one, and he has only given up 105 hits in 131 innings of work. Since the All-Star break, he is 6-1 with a 2.86 ERA in eight games (seven starts). And just today he was named to the All-PCL team.