The Buffalo Bisons today announced that OF Jesus Feliciano
has been named the team's Stan Barron Most Valuable Player for the 2009 season. Feliciano accepted his honor in a pre-game ceremony just prior to the Herd's Fan Appreciation Night game on Wednesday, September 2 against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
RHP Nelson Figueroa was named the Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher while RHP Kyle Snyder was awarded the Judge Michael Dillon Comeback Player of the Year. RHP Tim McNab earned the Joe DeSa Most Inspirational Player Award (voted on by players) as well as the Frank J. Vallone Community Service Award. He's the first Bisons players to win multiple awards since INF Greg LaRocca earned the team's Most Valuable Player Award and the Community Service Award in 2003.
INF Argenis Reyes was award the Jimmy Griffin "Hometown Hero" Award while the Joe Byron Fan of the Year Award to Richard "Lefty" Lewandowski.
Stan Barron Most Valuable Player -Jesus Feliciano
Named after Stan Barron, a legend in Buffalo broadcasting, this award is given to the player who demonstrates outstanding ability, good sportsmanship and dedication. There has been one constant force in the Bisons offense throughout the 2009 season: OF Jesus Feliciano. The outfielder has hit .300 (142-473) with 29 doubles, a triple, a home run and 40RBI in 124 games. Feliciano leads the Bisons offense in almost every offensive category: games (124), multi-hit games (35), average (.300), hits (142), doubles (29), stolen bases (12) and runs scored (51). He is also 2nd on the club in RBI (40).
Feliciano's 142 hits are the 3rd most in the International League, trailing Gwinnett's Barbaro Canizares by only three hits. His .300 average is 9th in the IL while his 29 doubles are tied for 11th in the league.
Feliciano has also been one of Buffalo's most dependable hitters in the clutch. He has averaged .318 (63-198) with 40RBI with runners on base, .300 (24-80) with runners on and two outs and .294 (32-109) with 35RBI with runners in scoring position. He drove in a team-high 17 runs in June while averaging .317 (32-101) in 26 games. His best month at the plate, however, might have been July when he hit .330 (35-106) in 27 games with the Herd.
While Feliciano has only one home run on the season, it was a two-run walk-off homer in the 9th inning of a 5-3 win over Norfolk on May 11 at Coca-Cola Field.
Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher - Nelson Figueroa
Established in 2001, this award is presented to the Bisons' pitcher who demonstrates outstanding ability, good sportsmanship and dedication throughout the course of the season. In 2004, the honor was named after Hall of Fame pitcher and Buffalo-native, Warren Spahn, the winningest lefty in Major League history. RHP Nelson Figueroa was the most consistent pitcher in the entire International League in 2009. His 2.25ERA in 17 starts with the club will fall just three innings shy of qualifying for the IL's top mark. He led the Bisons staff with 14 quality starts, having allowed more than three runs in just one outing all year. Figueroa limited opponents to two runs ore less in 14 of his 17 starts.
Overall, Figueroa was 7-5 with a 2.25ERA in 17 starts (112.0IP, 91H, 29R, 28ER, 24BB, 94K).
Figueroa won six consecutive decisions in eight starts from June 2 - July 18, posting a razor-thin 1.44ERA over the stretch (9ER/56.1IP). He struck out nine batters in a start three times - June 13 vs. Durham, July 9 in Pawtucket, July 28 vs. the PawSox- and threw a complete-game shutout in the second game of a doubleheader on July 18 against Toledo. Opponents hit just .225 off Figueroa with only five home runs and 21 extra-base hits in 404 at-bats.
Figueroa received three big league promotions, joining the Mets for good on August 3. Still, he will finish the season 1st on the Bisons in starts (17) while he currently leads the clubs in wins (7), innings pitched (112.0) and strikeouts (94).
Judge Michael Dillon Comeback Player of the Year - Kyle Snyder
This award is named for the late Judge Michael F. Dillon, who was a three-time Erie County district attorney and served a 14-year term on the State Supreme Court. It recognizes an individual who overcomes injury, personal problems or a rough season and exemplifies the meaning of hard work and dedication.
RHP Kyle Snyder has been the most versatile pitcher for the Bisons this season, making 19 relief appearances and 14 starts with the club. He has pitched the 2nd-most innings for the Herd (104.1) and has provided quality innings while filling in wherever the team has needed him. This is despite the fact Snyder missed almost three months of the 2008 season with a groin injury that landed him on the disabled list twice while pitching in the Boston Red Sox organization.
Overall in 2009, Snyder is 3-8 with a 4.23ERA and one save for Buffalo. However, the veteran has allowed three runs or less in seven of his eight losses and has been the victim of numerous tough defeats. Snyder has allowed three runs or less in 12 of his 14 starts with the Herd.
Snyder set a Bisons season high for relievers with seven strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work out of the pen on May 26 against Lehigh Valley. He also posted an ERA of 3.90 or lower in four consecutive months from May - August. His 74 strikeouts on the season are 4th most on the Bisons pitching staff.
Joe DeSa Most Inspirational Player - Tim McNab
The Joe DeSa Award is named for the slick-fielding, power hitting player who was with the Bisons from 1985-86. He lost his life in a car accident in December of 1986. The award, which is voted on by his teammates, is presented annually to the player who truly exemplifies the meaning of inspiration by his play and love of the game.
In his third season with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate, RHP Tim McNab has been one of Ken Oberkfell's most reliable relievers as well as a positive contributor to the team's clubhouse. After beginning the season in Binghamton (AA), the 29-year old was promoted to Buffalo on May 2 and has been with the club ever since.
McNab allowed just four runs in his first 17 appearances with the Herd, posting a 1.24ERA in his first 29.0 innings of work. That great start included a string of 10 appearances without allowing an earned run. McNab followed that in July when he went 3-0 with a save and a 0.00ERA in seven appearances out of the Bisons bullpen.
Overall, on the year, McNab is 5-4 with a 4.09ERA and four saves in 34 games and two starts. He ranks 2nd on the Bisons in saves (4), 3rd in appearances (34) and tied for 3rd in wins (5).
Frank J. "Fremo" Vallone Community Service Award - Tim McNab
The Community Service Award is named for the late Frank J. Vallone, the Bisons good will ambassador and most celebrated fan who served as a host and ticket salesperson from 1987-1990. The award is presented annually to the player who best represents the club in community related activities, charitable and youth oriented activities.
In the Bisons first season as the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, RHP Tim McNab has quickly made himself a fan favorite for his play on the field, but also his attitude off the field. All season long, McNab has been the first Bisons players to volunteer to give back to the Western New York community in everything from hospital visits to the team's youth baseball clinics and academies.
Along with his selection as the Joe DeSa Most Inspirational Player award winner, McNab becomes the eighth Bisons player to win multiple awards in one year in the modern era. The last Bisons player to win multiple awards was INF Greg LaRocca who won MVP and the Community Service award in 2003.
Winners of Multiple Award in Same Year
2009 - RHP Tim McNab (Most Inspirational Player, Community Service Award)
2003 - INF Greg LaRocca (Team MVP, Community Service Award)
2002 - C Tim Laker (Most Inspirational Player, Comeback Player)
2001 - INF Anthony Medrano (Team MVP, Most Inspirational Player)
2000 - OF David Roberts (Co-Team MVP, Community Service Award)
1995 - INF Billy Ripken (Team MVP, Most Inspirational Player)
1989 - INF Steve Henderson (Team MVP, Most Inspirational Player)
1988 - OF Benny Distefano (Team MVP, Most Inspirational Player)
Jimmy Griffin Hometown Hero Award -Argenis Reyes
The Hometown Hero Award was created during the 2008 season to honor the impact and support of the former Mayor of Buffalo, Jimmy Griffin. There was no bigger supporter of the team and of a downtown ballpark for the fans of the area than Mayor Griffin. He pledged his own money to have professional baseball return to Buffalo and later proved to be an innovator by insisting on the creation of Dunn Tire Park in downtown Buffalo. The award is given to the player who performs the best in home games in front of the fans of Buffalo.
Argenis Reyes has had an outstanding season at Coca-Cola Field, posting a .306 (56-183) batting average in 51 games in front of the hometown fans. Reyes has hit nine doubles, a triple and a home run while driving in 15 runs at home. He's also collected four stolen bases and 21 runs scored while playing stellar defense in the field. Reyes has committed just one error at home this year and started last night's triple play with a diving grab at shortstop.
Overall, Reyes has hit .288 (102-354) with 18 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 31RBI and 10 stolen bases in 94 games with the Bisons.
Joe Byron Fan of the Year -Richard "Lefty" Lewandowski
The Fan of the Year Award is named for the late Joe Byron, who is best known for singing the Canadian and US National Anthems at Buffalo Bisons baseball games and Buffalo Sabres hockey games. The award is presented each season to the person who best represents fans through their dedication to the team and to baseball.
Richard "Lefty" Lewandowski has been a season ticket holder since 1988 and has been a fixture at Coca-Cola Field since the park first opened. Born in Kaisertown, Lewandowski is a graduate of South Park High School. He served in the Navy first, but then transferred to the Marines because they had a Medical Corp and served in that capacity in the Korean War. Upon returning to the States, Lewandowski managed a local drug store before working for the Peter J. Schmitt Food Foundation before his retirement in 1993.