Pitcher Randy Dobnak and outfielder Trevor Larnach, both of whom made great impact in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos' season, were announced Monday as 2019 recipients of the Minnesota Twins top minor league awards.Larnach was chosen as winner of the Sherry Robertson Award as the Twins' Minor League Player of the
Pitcher Randy Dobnak and outfielder Trevor Larnach, both of whom made great impact in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos' season, were announced Monday as 2019 recipients of the Minnesota Twins top minor league awards.
Larnach was chosen as winner of the Sherry Robertson Award as the Twins' Minor League Player of the Year. Dobnak, who is now part of the Twins' pitching staff for their post-season run, was named the Jim Rantz Award winner as the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Both rising stars made significant contributions to the Blue Wahoos season, which ended with the second-most wins (76) in franchise history and a fifth consecutive trip to the Southern League playoffs. It was the first year the Blue Wahoos were affiliated with the Twins and the partnership led to several franchise feats, including the best start in club history and eight players, including Dobnak, earning major league debuts.
Dobnak, 24, first joined the Blue Wahoos on May 2, after a successful first month with the Fort Myers Miracle, the Twins' High-A affiliate. He appeared in 11 games including 10 starts with the Blue Wahoos. He had a 4-2 record with a 2.57 ERA.
In rising three levels within the Twins' minor league system, Dobnak finished 12-4 with a 2.07 ERA (130.0 IP, 31 ER), 28 walks, 109 strikeouts, an 0.98 WHIP and opponents batted just .212 against him in 24 games. His final game with the Blue Wahoos was on July 18. He was elevated to Triple-A Rochester, and one month later (Aug. 19), he made his major league debut with the Twins.
The season continued an incredible rise for Dobnak, who grew up in South Park, Pa., located 15 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. He was pitching in an Independent League in Michigan when the Twins signed him in 2017.
The Jim Rantz Award honors the Twins' former pitcher, who is a member of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame, along with being former director of minor league operations. Past winners include Francisco Liriano, Matt Garza and current Twins starters Kyle Gibson and José Berríos.
Larnach, 22, a corner outfielder and the Twins' No. 1 draft pick in 2018 from Oregon State, joined the Blue Wahoos in the second half of the season, had a combined .309 average with 30 doubles, one triple and 13 home runs. He was the Florida State League player of the month in May while with the Miracle. He was named to the FSL mid-season and post-season all star teams.
Prior to the season, the Walnut Creek, Calif. native was ranked the fifth-best prospect in the Twins system by Baseball America and MLB.com.
The Sherry Robertson Award, established in 1970, honors the Twins' first farm director. Since 2002, the award has recognized the top player of the year. Past winners include Kent Hrbek, David Oritz, Joe Mauer and current Twins' stars Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, along with Mitch Garver, who briefly played for the Blue Wahoos this season on an injury rehab assignment.
Larnach and Dobnak, along with the other Twins 2019 award winners, will be recognized at the 15th annual Diamond Awards Dinner on Jan. 23 in Minneapolis.