The Toronto Blue Jays announced their organizational award winners earlier today, and Dunedin's RHP Taylor Cole and Hitting Coach Stubby Clapp each received tremendous honors. Cole has been named the winner of the Community Service Award, and Clapp will receive the Bobby Mattick Award for excellence in player development.
RHP Taylor Cole has been named this year's winner of the Community Service Award. The 25 year-old right-hander was exceptionally active in the Blue Jays initiative programs serving youth. Among the programs Taylor participated in were the team's annual Bookin' it to the Ballpark reading program and summer Kickball Tour: a health and wellness initiative promoting an active lifestyle among kids of all ages at various summer camps. Additionally, Taylor led a group of teammates in a "Toys for Tots" shopping spree in support of the non-profit organization. Warm-hearted and selfless in his volunteerism, Taylor was always willing to answer a litany of questions from kids in an earnest manner, and took the extra time to sign last minute autographs in the classroom, at the ballpark and wherever fans could be found. In his words, "It's our responsibility to give back, as so many have done for us." On the diamond, Cole led all of minor league baseball with 171 strikeouts this past season.
Stubby Clapp is being recognized as this year's recipient of the Bobby Mattick Award for excellence in Player Development. Born in Windsor, Ontario, Stubby has spent the last two seasons as the Hitting Coach in Dunedin (A). A member of Canada's 1999 Pan American Games team, 2004 Canada Olympic team and 2006 World Baseball Classic club, Clapp spent 11 seasons playing professionally, including 23 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001. Clapp started his coaching career in 2008 in the Astros system, highlighted by a division crown with Tri City (A) serving as the teams Manager. Stubby was influential in the development of several key Blue Jays farmhands over the past two seasons and his dedication each and every day makes the award richly deserved. During the past season alone, C Derrick Chung, SS Jorge Flores, 1B K.C. Hobson, 3B Gustavo Pierre, RF Matt Newman and CF Dalton Pompey all earned promotions to Double-A and beyond after working with Clapp in Dunedin.
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