Yes kids, the Diamondbacks got it right when they named Andy Green their Minor League Player of the Year, and I'm here to back 'em up. The D'Backs had some spells where their decision making was a wee bit off ($34 million to Russ Ortiz anyone?) but this time they were right on point.
I like lists, heck, everybody likes lists. So here are three lists just especially for my boss.
IN ALL OF THE MINOR LEAGUES ANDY GREEN RANKED...
1st in runs scored
2nd in hits, extra base hits, and total bases
3rd in doubles
5th in triples
8th in batting average
IN THE TRIPLE-A PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE ANDY GREEN RANKED
1st in hits, doubles, triples, runs scored, and extra base hits
6th in batting average
ON THE TRIPLE-A TUCSON SIDEWINDERS ANDY GREEN RANKED
1st in hits, doubles, triples, runs scored, extra base hits
Tied for 2nd in on base percentage
2nd in slugging percentage, walks, stolen bases, batting average, RBI, and home runs
This is what William Peterson would call definitive proof on CSI.
The best player in the system is the guy who puts up the numbers that open your eyes, that make you take a second look, and that even after you've taken that second look, you still don't believe. Green did it all, and did it everywhere. He played every position in the outfield, as well as second base, shortstop, and third base.
"I haven't seen him pitch or catch yet, but I'm pretty sure if I asked him to he would."
Yeah, that was Green's manager for most of the season, Chip Hale, and he wasn't kidding around.
How good was Andy Green? The Diamondbacks felt they could part with Matt Kata, because they knew that Green could fill the same role. How good was Andy Green? He was playing alongside the two top prospects in the entire system, Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin, and he had better numbers than both. How good is Andy Green? He finished second on the team in both RBI and home runs, despite hitting lead off the vast majority of the season.
Again, no disrespect here. Jackson, Carter, Quentin, these are great players, destined for great things, but in 2005, they all walked in Andy Green's shadow. Green was the best player on the Sidewinders in virtually any situation. He had a better average in the clutch, with runners in scoring position, than Quentin. He hit lefties (to the tune of .319) but he was even better against right handers (.352), he drove the ball, and he could bunt for a single, he moved runners along and drove them in. He played where he was asked to play and he did it without complaint, without sulking because he wasn't called up, he played the game with joy and he had fun. Andy Green is the Position Player of the Year, period.