The 2013 season is in the books, and we have seen many new faces winning awards this season. A changing of the guard on top highlights this year’s award winners:
Comeback Player of the Year: BJ Turner
Turner had a decent statistical year, and was average in most statistics. His pitching performances were not as expected, but he provided a fielding presence that the Batters lacked, but his offensive numbers were good. He hit for a high average but his power numbers were way down compared to how he performed prior to his two-year absence. Still, he proved that he can be a key cog on any roster.
Most Improved Player: Mitch Rupp
His offensive numbers were down from his stellar rookie season, but as everyone knows, the OCWA is about pitching. League averages were way down this year, and that can be attributed to the improvement of the pitchers as a whole. There is no better example than Mitch Rupp. Mitch turned it on this year, lowering his ERA by almost four points and increasing his strikeout total to 43. He only had a 5-6 record, but his offense struggled in most games. If Rupp keeps improving at this pace, he could be in MVP discussions in the near future.
Silver Sluggers: Ryan Bush, Dave Erb, Chris Roeder
Roeder was the cream of this crop, winning the batting triple crown. We will talk about him more later on. Bush trailed Roeder by one in both homers and RBI, in what was a “down” year for Bush. He still had a batting average over .400 (again) to go along with his 22 homers and 72 RBI. He was the clear offensive leader of the Franchise once again, and will probably continue that role. Dave Erb provided a huge offensive spark to the Sachs this season, batting .333 with 14 homers and 52 RBI. We all expected these three to be in this group at the beginning of the season, and they did not let us down.
Rookie of the Year: Tim Coykendall
Has there ever been a better rookie in the OCWA? It’s hard to compete with the season Coyk had. His batting numbers were outstanding as he hit for a .333 average with 11 homers and 43 RBI (in only 15 games). Now while those numbers aren’t Mitch Rupp-rookie like, his pitching numbers say otherwise. An 11-1 record with a 5.20 ERA and 43 strikeouts? That ties the all-time record for wins in a season. He is another player who could be in future MVP discussions.
Manager of the Year: Doug Bush
He had a very interesting offseason to say the least. In November, he was drafted by James Draveck, who hoped to put his Tampa Bay Turtles team back together. When James stepped down from his managerial spot, Doug stepped up, bringing back the Lil Pens from the beginnings of the OCWA. He brought Nate St. Ours back, and introduced the world to the Carpin (or “Puig”) family. This team may not have had the best talent, but Doug Bush knows how to win games, and they finished a respectable 9-11. The return of Doug Bush to the managerial game was a success.
Fielder of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Most Valuable Player: Chris Roeder
The changing of the guard seems to have been completed as Chris Roeder swept the three major awards. He may have had the best season in OCWA history. He won the batting triple crown with this impressive statline: .483 BA, 23 HR, 73 RBI, and he only struck out 10 times at the dish. His pitching numbers may be even more impressive: 0.53 ERA, 3-0 record, 71 strikeouts and a no-hitter. He owned every statistical category we could think of this year, and thus, he deserves these awards. Don’t be surprised if he continues this trend.