WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- Earlier this week, the 2019 Futures League regular season awards were announced by Commissioner Joe Paolucci and the league office. These awards are meant to honor the top performers of this year’s Futures League season. There were many candidates for these awards that were deserving, but these winners were a step above the competition come the end of the regular season. Below is the complete list of 2019 Futures League Award winners.
Most Valuable Player, Sean Lawlor, North Shore Navigators
Sean Lawlor had an exceptional year for the North Shore Navigators putting up some unbelievable stats. Lawlor was the most well-rounded and consistent hitter in the league this season as he finished the regular season in the top 3 of almost every major offensive category. He ranked 2ndin batting average as he hit .351 on the year, 2ndin runs scored with 44, 1stin total hits with 66, tied for 2ndin doubles with 15, tied for 2ndin home runs with 8, 2ndin RBI with 40, and 2ndin slugging percentage with .590. These statistics left no doubt as to who the most valuable player in the league this season was. Not only did he prove he could hit consistently for average, he showed off his power as well with his 8 home runs and 15 doubles on the year. On top of that, Lawlor played a great left field for the Navigators, finishing the 2019 regular season as one of the most complete players in the league.
Pitcher of the Year, Angelo Baez, Worcester Bravehearts
Much like the MVP award winner, Angelo Baez proved himself to be the most complete starting pitcher in the league this season. Worcester’s Baez finished the regular season at the top of the rankings in almost every major pitching category. Baez finished tied for 2ndin the league in wins with 5 wins in 6 games started and a 5-1 overall record, 3rdin strikeouts with 62, and 2ndin ERA with 1.63. He appeared in 14 games with 44 innings pitched, let up just 31 hits and 15 walks, and also added two saves to the resume this season. There was not a pitcher in the league with better overall numbers and Baez seemed to be dominant in every appearance he had. He proved to be the go-to guy for the Bravehearts on the mound earning himself the Pitcher of the Year Award.
Defensive Player of the Year, Buddy Dewaine, Bristol Blues
The Defensive Player of the Year Award is given to the player that locks it down at their defensive position, making plays consistently and efficiently throughout the season. Buddy Dewaine had an amazing season playing third base for the Bristol Blues and his defensive stats leave no question as to why he deserves the Defensive Player of the Year award. Dewaine posted a .919 fielding percentage on the year and had only eight errors in his second-most in the league 282.2 innings played. He ranked first in the league in both assists and put outs with 62 assists and 29 put outs. Dewaine also hit a solid .285 this season and was tied for 3rdin triples with 3. He locked down the hot corner for the Blues this season and it earned him a well-deserved Defensive Player of the Year award.
Top Prospect, Mark Coley, Pittsfield Suns
Mark Coley had an unbelievable regular season for the Pittsfield Suns in 2019. He put amazing statistics and showed skills that he could take to the next level. This Top Prospect Award is given to the player that showed skills that give him the most Major League potential. This season, Coley finished with a .327 batting average which is good for 8thbest in the league. In 42 games played, he finished 5thin the league in runs scored with 38, tied for 13thin the league in hits with 49, tied for 2ndin doubles with 15, tied for 3rdin home runs with 7, and 8thplace in RBIs with 29. Those are some impressive numbers that definitely stand out to scouts at the next level. Coley seems to have the overall skill package and can get it done in so many different ways for his team. His extremely strong regular season has earned him the Top Prospect Award for 2019.
Top Pitching Prospect, Nick Sinacola, Brockton Rox
Similar to the Top Prospect Award, the Top Pitching Prospect Award is given to the pitcher who showed the most Major League potential in his play. Brockton’s Nick Sinacola was one of the most consistent and dominant pitchers for the entire 2019 season. He ranked 4thin the league in ERA with a 2.66 in nine starts. Sinacola finished with a 2-0 record and allowed just 33 hits and 21 walks in 44 innings pitched. He also finished 2ndin the league in strikeouts with 71. These numbers prove his dominance this year on the mound for the regular season champion Brockton Rox and earned him the Top Pitching Prospect Award for the 2019 season.
Top Reliever, Beau Dana, North Shore Navigators
North Shore’s Beau Dana defined the word dominant in 2019. The hard-throwing closer finished the year with a 1.39 ERA and a whopping 13 saves in 18 appearances. Almost every time he entered the game for the Navigators, he would get the save. In 19.1 innings pitched, Dana had 31 strikeouts, 15 hits allowed, and six walks allowed. Opposing hitters had a very tough time catching up to his fast ball in those late-inning scenarios where Dana seems to thrive. He was one of the most feared pitchers in the 2019 regular season and it is understandable why he is. His late-inning success and ability to close out ball games almost every time he gets the ball earned him the Top Reliever Award for the 2019 season.
Manager of the Year, Mike Odenwaelder, North Shore Navigators
What the North Shore Navigators’ manager Mike Odenwaelder did this season was truly remarkable. At the end of the 2018 regular season, the North Shore Navigators finished with a 20-35 record and were dead last in the standings sitting 17 games back. Odenwaelder came into 2019 and took the Navigators all the way to the top as they were the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season. They sat at the top of the standings for almost the entire year until the last few days of the regular season where just a couple games were the difference between finishing in 1stplace and 3rdplace. Although the end of the regular season did not end in a 1stplace finish, it is amazing to see the last place team of last year come out and dominate for almost the entire 2019 season and finish as the #3 seed by just 1.5 games. Odenwaelder did an exceptional job managing this North Shore team to their first playoff appearance since 2016!
Commissioner’s Award, Scott Creedon, Brockton Rox
Futures League Commissioner Joe Paolucci had many names to consider for this year’s Commissioner’s Award, but one name in particular stood out. A former Braintree Wamp, this Rox pitcher was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis, which is a kidney disease that had not only threatened his season at Broward College, but his life. He had to step away from baseball and from Broward to focus on recovering from this disease, building his body back up and returning to baseball, the game he loves so much. His goal this summer was to get back to playing team baseball and he has certainly been electric this summer. He has a 2-1 record in 10 G and 43.2 IP with 43 H 14 R 11 ER, while walking just 10 and striking out 33 and is top 3 in the league in ERA at 2.27. For overcoming adversity and returning to the game he loves, Scott Creedon definitely earned the 2019 Futures League Commissioner’s Award.
2019 Futures League Batting Champion, Thomas Joyce, Westfield Starfires
This season’s batting champion is the Westfield Starfires’ Thomas Joyce. Joyce had an unbelievable 2019 season at the plate for the Starfires as he finished the season with a league leading .370 batting average. Joyce emerged as one of the best and most consistent hitters in the league as he also put up 26 runs scored, 50 hits, 13 doubles (tied for 3rdin the league), four home runs, and 23RBIs in 42 games played and 135 at-bats. It was not the best outcome for the Westfield Starfires in their inaugural season, but Joyce was definitely a massive bright spot for them as he earned himself the 2019 Futures League batting title.