Dunedin Blue Jays: Hitter of the Year

The Dunedin Blue Jays enjoyed a pleasant season in 2005 making the Florida State League playoffs as the second half division champions. In a league known for being a "pitchers league" the Blue Jays offensive players had some impressive performances. Some players put themselves on the map with their season, while others proved that they can hit at that level. There were several candidates for the Offensive Player of the Year Award this season. Who got it? Find out right now!

Power was certainly displayed by the Dunedin players in 2005. The team combined for 110 home runs and was led by third baseman Eric Arnold, who hit 19 dingers and drove in 72 runs while batting .274. Another player that was involved in the discussion for the award was outfielder David Smith. The outfielder hit .294 during the season with 14 home runs and 73 runs batted in. Over his final 28 games of the season, Smith hit .373 with 6 home runs and 26 runs batted in. Smith had a streak of seven consecutive games in August in which he drove in at least one RBI in those games and had at least one RBI in nine of ten games during August. Carlo Cota also had a solid season for Dunedin, after being demoted from New Hampshire as he struggled to begin the season. In 68 games, Cota hit .304 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI. Ryan Roberts who was promoted to New Hampshire to replace Cota was hitting .287 with 9 home runs and 35 RBI in 42 games. Clint Johnston was in a similar situation as Roberts. Johnston began the season with Dunedin, but was rapidly promoted to New Hampshire after he hit .310 with 4 home runs and 21 RBI in 42 games. One player who came through during the season half of the season was catcher Robinzon Diaz, who hit .294 on the season with 65 RBI. Diaz hit .324 during the month of July and .337 during the month of August.

We talked about him during the Lansing Offensive Player of the Year voting and he will come up once again. That is none other than Chip Cannon, who had perhaps the most surprising performance in the system in 2005. Cannon played in just 29 games for Dunedin and hit .384 with 14 home runs and 39 RBI. Although he had the highest average and the second highest home run total, unfortunately he does not qualify for the award. Cannon scored 28 runs and had a slugging mark of .830 in 112 at bats for Dunedin.

The winner of this year's award goes to a second year player, Adam Lind. The young outfielder hit .313 in 126 games and had 12 home runs and a team high 84 runs batted in. Lind also scored a team high 80 times and struck out just 77 times in 495 at bats.

Lind began the season on a hitting tear as he batted .360 over his first 22 games of the season. The 22-year-old then had a par performance in May and June before ending the season on a tear, not only with his batting average, but his power. The negative on Lind was that he would not hit for much power, however, he showed that his gap power translated into home runs as he got more comfortable in professional baseball. Lind hit .358 during the month of July and had six home runs and twenty runs batted in. Over his final 27 games of the season Lind hit .320 and belted four more home runs. He has two home runs over the first three months of the season and ten over the last two months of the season.

Nine of his twelve home runs came with runners on base and with the bases loaded he hit .364 in 11 at bats.

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