MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — One game remains until the Indianapolis Indians, now 65-74, conclude the 2019 season, which brings our weekly Indy Watch to an end for the season, too.
First, thanks for following all season. I hope the coverage was beneficial, whether you follow the Pirates or not.
The Indians already announced their team awards for the year, and they’re as follows: Jake Elmore, Team MVP; Mitch Keller, Pitcher of the Year; Ke’Bryan Hayes, Rookie of the Year; Montana DuRapau, Reliever of the Year; James Marvel, Hustle & Grit Pitcher; Christian Kelley, Hustle & Grit Position Player.
With that, I’d like to end this year’s Indy Watch with my own superlatives. I don’t disagree with anything the club’s given out, so I’ve made up some other categories. Here we go.
Plug Me In, Coach — Versatility Award: Jake Elmore
Hard to argue with this guy’s production this year, even if nothing translated during his brief MLB stint. The dude played all over the place — second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right. That’s nothing new for Elmore, though. When I spoke with him early in the season, we talked at length about his versatility, including the season where he played every position on the field. What’s more, as the team indicated in its award list, Elmore hit from every lineup spot minus cleanup this season, too. He’s in contention for a batting title heading into the final day, and currently holds a .330 clip for the year over 358 at-bats. He’s got six home runs, 31 doubles and 34 RBIs and only struck out 52 times. He drew 37 walks and has a .396 on-base percentage. He was named to the International League's postseason All-Star team.
Where Did This Guy Come From? — Best Call-Up Award: James Marvel
I would love to have seen Marvel play a full season in Triple-A. Instead, he earned 10 starts with the Indians and he was nothing short of — yes, I’m going to do it — marvelous. Marvel could start today, but so far he’s 6-0 with a 2.91 ERA and a .208 average against him. By his own admission, Marvel doesn't have much “stuff,” but he managed 48 strikeouts and walked just 20 batters while allowing only four home runs all season. He’s posted a 1.10 WHIP and a 1.15 ground out/air out ratio. He notched one complete-game shutout to his credit, too.
Get Over the Wall — Best Power Threat Award: Will Craig
Average and strikeouts aside, Craig showed his power in flashes this season and finished with a team-high 23 home runs heading into the finale. Craig homered in his first two games in Indianapolis and drove six over the wall in his first nine games this season.
See Ya Later — Most Likely to be in the MLB Full Time Next Year Award: Mitch Keller
His win/loss record wasn’t as dominate as one would think, but Keller dominated on the hill this year. Keller went 7-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 19 starts with the Tribe this season and led the International League in ERA and strikeouts (123) before being called up by Pittsburgh in August. He showed progression in the big leagues, too. Keller was named to the International League postseason All-Star team and as well as earning the distinction of the league's Pitcher of the Year. Indians fans got two years with the kid, but kiss him goodbye.
Yes, He’s Still Around — Longevity and Productive When Called Upon Award: Trayvon Robinson
Robinson played in 91 games this season, but had some big appearances for the Indians, which led to him making a mid-season All-Star roster. He finished the year with a .296 average, seven home runs, 10 doubles, three triples and 35 RBIs. He also carried a .377 OBP and struck out just 65 times. Whether he gets his shot at a big-league roster, no one knows. But, he’s proven to be a team player and a solid presence in the clubhouse. And he answers when called upon.
OK, Who Saw THAT Coming? — Most Surprising Player Award: Bryan Reynolds
Reynolds played just 13 games with the Indians, hitting .367/.446/.735 with five home runs, a double, a triple and 11 RBIs. All he did after that was insert himself into the National League Rookie of the Year conversation while being one of the few bright spots in Pittsburgh. In 114 games with the Pirates, Reynolds carries a NL-best .335 average to go with 14 home runs, 32 doubles, three triples and 60 RBIs for his rookie season so far.
That’s all for me this year, folks. Drop your made-up awards in the comments. Until next time.
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