The field - narrowed to five - include Anthony Garcia, Nick Martini, Stephen Piscotty, Colin Walsh and Matt Williams. After a month of thought and wavering, I still haven't decided who I'm going to name when I get to the end of writing this article!
Looking back on the season, when Garcia went to bat, the fans started to expect a big hit because he got them when his team needed them. If it was a flashy play in the outfield, it was usually Martini making the catch. Williams, Walsh, and Piscotty were the excitement in the infield. Can you sense that I'm beating my head on a wall about now? In the end, I had to eliminate some.
Garcia has a great bat but made several miscues in the outfield that were crucial and he had over 100 strikeouts this year. As much as I want to give the recognition to Piscotty, he was only here for half of the season so I felt I should look more at the others. Martini fell a little short on his batting average (.266). Williams and Walsh kept coming to the top of the stats chart when I sorted by various categories.
Matt Williams was the team leader in games played (131), at bats (525), runs scored (89), hits (141), triples (5), and stolen bases (23). The 23-year-old wasn't flashy, but he was very steady. When I consider the defensive plays he made, they were the difference between a win or loss many times this year. The stats speak louder than anything and I have to go with Matt as The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Quad Cities 2012 Player of the Year.
Congratulations to all of the nominees and especially to Matt Williams. This was a great year of baseball that ended a few games short of what we wanted but it made a lifetime of memories. Thanks to you, readers, for allowing me another chance to write this column and to share my passion for baseball. Enjoy your off season. We'll see you soon!
Link to master article with all 2012 award winners, team recaps and article schedules.
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