Pitching Prospect Awards

Betances showed vastly improved command

Rather than merely hand out awards like the Pitcher of the Year and the like, we hand out various prospect superlative awards including, but not limited to; the "Phil Hughes Award" to the pitcher who best combined results with talent, the "Manny Banuelos Award" to the lower level pitching prospect who is much better than the national media realizes, etc, etc.

The Phil Hughes Award is more than just the Pitcher of the Year award, a distinction that normally only requires above average statistics. It's given to the pitching prospect who best combined actual game results with overall pitching talent, not to a pitcher who merely put up numbers.

This year's award goes to Tampa and Trenton right-hander Dellin Betances. He not only came back from Tommy John surgery quicker than most, he came back in dominating fashion, going a combined 8-1 with a 2.11 ERA and nearly a five to one strikeout-to-walk ratio. He did all of that and he has top-shelf stuff to boot.

The David Phelps Award [formerly known as the Zach McAllister award] is given to the pitching prospect who wasn't considered among the top few pitching prospects the year before but broke out in a big way the following season.

This year's award goes to Tampa and Trenton right-handed pitcher Adam Warren. He went a combined 11-7 with a 2.59 ERA, posting nearly a four to one strikeout-to-walk ratio, and saw an uptick in his stuff.

The Manny Banuelos Award is given to the pitching prospect in the short-season leagues who, despite showing a great combination of results and stuff, has flown under the national radar and is currently underrated.

This year's recipient is GCL Yankees' right-handed pitcher Bryan Mitchell. Unlike last year's recipient [Jose Ramirez, who posted some gaudy numbers - 6-0 with a 1.48 ERA and held opposing batters to a .159 batting average], Mitchell's overall numbers were just okay [2-1, 3.67 ERA], but hidden behind the numbers was an early injury and he pitched much better down the stretch.

With a plus fastball that sits 92-94 mph most days with good movement and a plus curveball, his stuff is constantly underrated.

The George Kontos Award is given to the pitching prospect who was drafted out of college and immediately showed a combination of stuff and results that same season.

This year's award goes to Conor Mullee. There wasn't much hype surrounding his selection in the 24th round. Heck, with just six innings pitched in college, there wasn't much of a track history to go by either. But sitting 95 mph with a nice easy pitching motion and a surprisingly advanced slider as well, Mullee, who went 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA for the GCL Yankees, has some serious stuff.

The Phil Coke Award is given to the perceived organizational pitcher whose stuff got dramatically better to put himself on the prospect map at an older age.

This year's award goes to right-hander Shane Greene. It's not that he started throwing that much harder all of the sudden like Coke -- Greene still sat 92-94 mph in 2010. And his slider wasn't even that much better either, but his changeup went from a non-existent pitch to one with plus-plus potential. He is squarely on the map.

The D.J. Mitchell Award is given to the pitcher who was a later-round pick and didn't get much mound time upon signing, but who also quickly showed some plus stuff heading into his first full minor league season.

The year's award goes to 16th round pick Evan Rutckyj. Drafted out of high school in Candada, Rutckyj doesn't have nearly the same polish as Mitchell had entering the professional ranks and because of that he will develop slower, but he already shows a 93 mph fastball from the left side and a quality curveball with plus potential. He has the look of a Nik Turley type with better 'now' stuff.

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