Fisher Cats d'Arnaud Wins Eastern League MVP Award, Fasano Named Manager of the Year

August 26, 2011 1:53 PM

Manchester, N.H. - The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, are pleased to announce that catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been selected as the winner of the 2011 Eastern League Most Valuable Player Award and manager Sal Fasano has been named the 2011 Eastern League Manager of the Year, as announced by the Eastern League this evening.

d'Arnaud captures the award batting .317 (126-for-398) with 32 doubles, 19 home runs, 71 RBI, 70 runs scored, a .545 slugging percentage and a .378 on-base percentage in 107 games for the Fisher Cats this season while helping lead the team to an Eastern Division-best record of 71-60.  He currently leads all active Eastern League players in slugging percentage (.545) and OPS (.923) while ranking among the league leaders in numerous other categories, including extra-base hits (52-tied 4th), total bases (217-5th), home runs (19-tied 5th), batting average (.317-6th), RBI (71-7th), doubles (32-8th) and runs scored (70-tied 9th).  The 6-foot-2, 195 lb. slugger has thrown out 26-percent of would be base stealers, which ranks as the sixth best percentage among all Eastern League catchers this season.

The 22-year-old native of Long Beach, California, was selected as the catcher on the 2011 Eastern League Season Ending All-Star Team.  He was also the starting catcher for the Eastern Division at the 2011 Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Game in Manchester on July 13.  d'Arnaud was recently named as the "Best Defensive Catcher" in the Eastern League this season by Baseball America.

d'Arnaud, who entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the fifth best prospect in the Toronto organization, was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies with the 37th overall pick in 2007 and became a member of the Toronto Blue Jays organization when he was included in a trade from Philadelphia for Roy Halladay on December 16, 2009.

Fasano, 40, has led the Fisher Cats to an Eastern Division best record of 71-60 (.542) in his first season with New Hampshire.  He became the sixth manager in franchise history in November after making his managerial debut with Blue Jays Single-A affiliate, the Lansing Lugnuts, of the Class-A Midwest League in 2010.

This season, Fasano led the Fisher Cats to a record setting 23 wins during the month of May, the most wins in a single month in franchise history.  The Chicago, Illinois native has guided the Fisher Cats to a season high winning streak of seven consecutive games (5/24-5/30) and has reached a high water mark of 19 games over .500 (46-27) on June 26.  Fasano has seen his Fisher Cats perform particularly well late in games, boasting a 55-0 record when leading after seven innings this season and earning 17 victories in the team's last at-bat, including 10 walk-off wins at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (ties franchise record).

Prior to his managerial career Sal spent parts of 11 seasons as a Major League player.  He was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 37th round of the 1993 draft and made his Major League debut as the starting catcher for Kansas City in a game at Baltimore on April 3, 1996.  Fasano played 16 games with Toronto in 2007 and went on to hit 47 home runs and drive in 140 runs in 427 games in his Major League career. 

Sal is joined on his coaching staff with the Fisher Cats by pitching coach Pete Walker, hitting coach Justin Mashore, coach Danny Solano, athletic trainer Robert Tarpey and strength and conditioning coach Brian Pike.

d'Arnaud becomes the second Fisher Cats player in history to win the Eastern League MVP Award, following Adam Lind who won the award in 2006.  Former Fisher Cats manager Mike Basso was named Manager of the Year also in 2004 after leading the club to an Eastern League Championship in the team's inaugural season.  Former Fisher Cats pitcher Kyle Drabek earned Pitcher of the Year honors last season after Gustavo Chacin was the first New Hampshire pitcher to win the award in 2004. 

Fisher Cats individual home playoff game tickets, playoff ticket strips and 2012 season tickets are available now at the Fisher Cats Ticket Office at 1 Line Drive, Manchester, NH 03101, online at or by calling the Fisher Cats at (603) 641-2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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