"This group of award winners separated themselves for what they did both on and off the field," Gwynn told SeattleClubhouse. "We challenged our players to be the best they can and each of these guys rose to the occasion and had great seasons. We look forward to their continued commitment towards excellence to help the Seattle Mariners achieve the ultimate goal of winning a World Series championship."
For the first time the organization acknowledged Co-Players and Co-Pitchers of the Year, recognizing the offensive performances of both D.J. Peterson and Jordy Lara of Jackson and the excellent pitching campaigns of Tacoma's Jordan Pries and Clinton's Edwin Diaz. Also awarded were Patrick Kivlehan of Jackson, who received the Unsung Hero Award, Ketel Marte of Tacoma, given the Heart & Soul Award, and Jackson's Matt Brazis, who took home the Relief Pitcher of the Year Award.
Peterson (111) and Lara (104) each drove in over 100 runs this season while splitting their seasons between High Desert and Jackson. Peterson (.297/.360/.552, 31 2B, 31 HR) was one of just five minor leaguers to amass at least 30 homers and 100 RBI. Lara (.337/.392/.581, 40 2B, 26 HR) led the minor leagues in hits (177) and tied for 3rd in extra base hits (71) while collecting the 6th most RBI in the minors.
The right-handed Pries, selected in the 30th round out of Stanford back in 2011, started the season with Jackson but made only two starts there before being promoted to Tacoma, where he led the team in wins (9), innings (142) and strikeouts (111) while proving to be the Rainiers' most consistent starter while leading the entire organization in innings for the season (154) Diaz, also a right-hander, ranked 6th in the organization in strikeouts (111) while pitching 47 1/3 more innings than he did in 2013. The 20-year-old threw one of just three nine-inning shutouts in the organization this year and ended his season with five no-hit innings.
Kivlehan (.295/.363/.507, 32 2B, 20 HR), who also played for both High Desert and Jackson, picked up 61 extra base hits while ranking 7th in the minors in RBI with 103. Seattle's 4th round pick in 2012 hit .340 (32-for-94) with runners in scoring position after his early season promotion to Jackson, also setting career highs in walks (56) and hits (153) on the year.
Marte (.304/.335/.411, 32 2B, 29 SB) was among the Southern League's leaders in hits and average at the time of his promotion to Tacoma and ended the year there with an offensive flurry. He ended the year 3rd in the organization and 22nd in minor league ball in hits (159). The switch-hitting shortstop's 42 extra base hits represented an increase of 19 over his previous personal best, set last season.
Brazis (2.36 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 10.5 SO/9) got into a combined 40 games with High Desert and Jackson, ranking 2nd in the organization in strikeouts by relievers with 84 in his 72 1/3 innings. Seattle selected the right-hander in the 28th round back in 2012 but he has accumulated an impressive 2.89 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 10.9 SO/9 in an even 100 appearances in three seasons in the system.
All seven players will be in Seattle this weekend and will be recognized by the club in a brief ceremony prior to Saturday's game.
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