It comes as little surprise that Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes won two of the team’s major postseason awards. The team announced Thursday that Hughes was named the Most Valuable Twin as well as the Twins Pitcher of the Year when the recipients of the 2014 Diamond Awards were released.
Hughes, who signed a three-year deal with Minnesota before the 2014 season, turned into the ace of the Twins staff. He finished his first year with the club by posting a 16-10 record and a 3.52 ERA in 209 2/3 innings. Hughes also put his name in baseball’s record books by posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 11.63, the best ever in a single season.
Danny Santana was named the Twins’ Most Outstanding Rookie after batting .319 with 40 RBI and 27 doubles in 101 games. Santana, who debuted May 5, played the majority of the year in center field despite coming up through the system as a shortstop.
Other awards of note included infielder Eduardo Escobar, who won the Charles O. Johnson Award as the Twins Most Improved Player, and second baseman Brian Dozier, who was named the Jim Kaat Award Winner as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Former manager Ron Gardenhire, who was let go following the season, earned the Media Good Guy Award. Relief pitcher Brian Duensing, who did work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and helped raise awareness for childhood cancer, won the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award.
The Bob Allison Award for a player who "exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field" was given to catcher Kurt Suzuki, who made the All-Star Game in his first year with the Twins. Additionally, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and Brooklyn Park, Minn., native Pat Neshek received the Upper Midwest Player of the Year award. Neshek earned a spot in his first All-Star Game this year and had a 1.87 ERA in 67 1/3 innings this year.