MINNEAPOLIS — A trio of Minnesotans took home the three biggest honors of this year’s Diamond Awards, the Minnesota Twins’ annual year-end awards.
Catcher Joe Mauer, a St. Paul native, was named the Calvin R. Griffith Award winner as the Most Valuable Twin. Mauer batted .324 with 11 homers and 47 RBI in 113 games this season and also earned a trip to his sixth career All-Star Game.
Twins closer and Stillwater native Glen Perkins won the Joseph W. Haynes Award as the Twins Pitcher of the Year. In his first full season as Minnesota’s closer, Perkins saved 36 games, posted an ERA of 2.30 and a WHIP of 0.926 en route to his first All-Star appearance.
Randolph native Caleb Thielbar, a left-handed reliever, received the Bill Boni Award as the Twins’ Most Outstanding Rookie. After pitching for the St. Paul Saints, Thielbar signed with the Twins and made his major league debut in 2013. The 26-year-old lefty finished with a 1.76 ERA in 49 relief appearances (46 innings).
Second baseman Brian Dozier took home two awards, including the Charles O. Johnson Award as the Most Improved Player as well as the Mike Augustin “Media Good Guy” Award. The 2013 season marked Dozier’s first year at second base and he wound up leading the Twins in home runs with 18 while driving in 66 runs in 147 games.
Dozier’s double-play partner, shortstop Pedro Florimon, was given the second annual Jim Kaat Award as the Twins’ Defensive Player of the Year. The 26-year-old Florimon had 12 defensive runs saved, which ranked second-best among all major league shortstops. He also helped turn 101 double plays in 133 games.
Justin Morneau, who was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in late August, won his second consecutive Bob Allison Award as the Twins player who “best exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field.” Meanwhile, Washington Nationals pitcher and Auburndale, Wis., native Jordan Zimmermann won the Upper Midwest Player of the Year. The 27-year-old right-hander was 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA in 32 starts for the Nationals this year.
The Diamond Awards will be held Jan. 23 at Target Field. The awards were voted on by members of the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.