San Antonio Missions Mid-Season Awards

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The San Antonio Missions have graduated three key players to Triple-A Tacoma, but two of them were still voted winners for awards at mid-season.

TEAM MVP: Yuniesky Betancourt, SS, and T.J. Bohn, RF
This was without a doubt the most difficult award to select, because of two outstanding candidates. With both Yuniesky Betancourt and T.J. Bohn having solid years, we decided that instead of flipping a coin we would give them the Co-MVP award. The two standouts are each having solid seasons at the plate, hitting in the middle half of the lineup, and each is the best at his respective position in the league defensively.

PITCHING MVP: Bobby Livingston, LHP
Bobby Livingston is the unaminous choice for the pitcher who is the most valuable to the Missions staff. The lefty has made opposing hitters look silly all year long, posting a 7-3 record and 2.80 ERA. He was selected to his third straight All-Star game this season and is really making a name for himself.

Even though Sean Green was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma in early June, he still leads the Texas league in saves with 14. His value to the Missions really became apparent recently, on the team's last road trip. San Antonio had the lead in every game with the exception of one going into the seventh inning, and struggled to come away with victories. Green was also selected to the All-Star team, but didn't compete due to his promotion to Tacoma. Ask any player, though, and a promotion is better than an all-star game any day of the week.

DEFENSIVE MVP: Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Betancourt may have gone on to bigger and better things in Tacoma, but his mark remains in San Antonio. "Yuniesky would have had it" has become a familiar phrase at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium, as the Missions' defense has looked undeniably shaky since the infielder's departure. In his first half-season in America, Betancourt's .980 fielding percentage led all Texas League shortstops, and he has since displaced Jose Lopez as the M's future at the position.

Espy, a veteran in his first season with the organization, has done everything the Missions have asked of him, epitomizing what it means to be a professional baseball player and hitter. A creature of habit, Espy's .277 batting average places second on the team while his .379 on-base percentage tops the lineup. At 27 years old, Espy's time could be running out, but that hasn't stopped him from winning over the fans and staff alike with his work ethic and knowledge of the game.

BEST MOMENT: Jon Nelson's Opening Night, two-run blast
Nelson's game-winning homer in front of a record home crowd doomed the Corpus Christi Hooks in their inaugural game as they fell, 3-2. The 7,447 fans, out not only to kick off 100 years of San Antonio baseball but also for dollar drafts, stood up in drunken ecstasy as soon as the first pitch to Nelson screamed off the bat. The monster shot had the stadium and press box buzzing about it days into the homestand, and signified a recurring theme for the Missions, which are 18-6 when tied after six innings and 6-1 when knotted up through eight.

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