Dirden & Bravo Tabbed Top Hooks in 2022
CORPUS CHRISTI – Following standout 2022 campaigns, outfielder Justin Dirden and right-handed pitcher Jose Bravo are the Hooks Player and Pitcher of the Year, and will be recognized Thursday, January 26 at the South Texas Winter Banquet. Whataburger presents the 17th edition of the banquet, hosted by the Hooks at
CORPUS CHRISTI – Following standout 2022 campaigns, outfielder Justin Dirden and right-handed pitcher Jose Bravo are the Hooks Player and Pitcher of the Year, and will be recognized Thursday, January 26 at the South Texas Winter Banquet.
Whataburger presents the 17th edition of the banquet, hosted by the Hooks at the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi.
Dirden hit .324 with 64 runs, 32 doubles, five triples, 20 home runs and 73 RBIs in 92 games with Corpus Christi. Despite earning an early-August promotion to Triple-A Sugar Land, the St. Louis native finished 2022 with a Texas League-best 1.027 OPS and .616 slugging percentage.
Dirden also slotted among league leaders in average (2nd), on-base percentage (.411, 3rd), extra-base hits (57, 2nd), doubles (2nd), triples (3rd), and total bases (215, 10th).
The 25-year-old undrafted free agent was tabbed both the Houston Astros Minor League Player of the Month and Texas League Player of the Month for July, when he batted .412 with 18 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs and 10 walks to go along with a 1.241 OPS in 22 games. Dirden forged 11 multi-hit games in July, including a stretch of seven straight from the 10th through the 22nd.
Dirden was TL Player of the Week July 25-31 after recording 11 hits in 19 at-bats over a six-game series at Amarillo. The .579 batting average included two doubles and two home runs.
A product of Southeast Missouri State, Dirden advanced to Sugar Land by batting .480 with 19 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs in his final 19 games as a Hook.
Adding in his 32 games with the Space Cowboys, Dirden finished the year with 40 doubles and 24 home runs. His 69 extra-base hits ranked fifth in Minor League Baseball.
Bravo went 9-4 with a 4.49 ERA over 24 games and 16 starts for the Hooks. He led the team in both victories and innings pitched (108.1), while working at least five frames on 11 occasions to pace the pitching staff.
Serving as Corpus Christi’s stopper down the stretch, Bravo busted a pair of three-game Hooks droughts as well as a five-game skid by CC over three outings Aug 20-25.
The 25-year-old from Tijuana went 6-0 with a 3.05 ERA in his final eight Texas League assignments. Bravo wrapped the season by hurling six innings of relief at Arkansas September 16.
His month of June was impressive, with Bravo boasting a 1.93 ERA over five games and 23 1/3 innings pitched. He tossed five no-hit frames June 23 vs. Amarillo, dispatching 15 of 16 batters faced. A June 5 triumph at Northwest Arkansas was rendered by Bravo retiring 10 of the last 11 hitters through four innings of work.
Following an early stint on the injured list, Bravo was a mainstay in the rotation from the start of May through the end of the year. In his season debut, the veteran right-hander twirled five innings of one-run ball April 12 at Midland. It marked Bravo’s lone appearance of the month.
Along with recognizing Dirden and Bravo, the South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet agenda includes featured speaker Jose Trevino and Astros coach Dan Firova, who is receiving a lifetime achievement award. Kansas City Royals prospect Nick Loftin will be on hand as the Mike Adams South Texas Pro Player of the Year.
Reserved seats, priced at $65, are on sale at the Whataburger Field Box Office and by calling 361-561-HOOK (4665).