2011 Minor League Awards: Binghamton Mets

The Binghamton Mets honored three players with their annual team awards on Sunday. The team ended their 20th season in fifth place, 11.5 games back with a 65-76 record.

Most Valuable Player – OF Brahiam Maldonado

As Most Valuable Player, Brahiam Maldonado led the Binghamton Mets with 130 games played, 28 home runs, five triples and 16 outfield assists.

He finished the 2011 season second in the Eastern League in home runs and first in at-bats per home run. Maldonado drove in a career-high 74 RBI this season, and collected more than 100 hits for the third straight season.

My Thoughts – Maldonado, 26, is also no closer to the majors than he was a season ago. He still struggles with consistency and strikes out a ton (146 K, 477 AB). His .226/.285/.453 slash indicates that the 2004 10th round pick still has much work to do, but make no mistake this kid has tremendous power.

Pitcher of the Year – RHP Collin McHugh

Collin McHugh was honored with Pitcher of the Year. In his first season with Double-A Binghamton, McHugh struck out 100 batters in 93.1 innings. He held opponents to two runs or fewer in his final ten appearances, and finished the season on a seven-game winning streak. On September 1 in Erie, he threw the only complete game for the Binghamton Mets in the 2011 season.

My Thoughts – McHugh has flown under the radar all year and while performing under the shadows of teammates Jeurys Familia and Matt Harvey, the 24-year old right-hander has shown himself to be a very smart pitcher who is headstrong and has excellent command of his pitches. He finished the season with a 2.89 ERA in Binghamton, just ahead of Harvey and Familia. McHugh is not blessed with the stuff the other two have, but he’s a crafty one on the mound and sometimes that could be a difference maker.

Jeff Francoeur (Inspirational Player) Award – 1B Allan Dykstra

Allan Dykstra was voted Most Inspirational Player in his first season with Double-A Binghamton and first year in the New York Mets’ system. Dykstra finished the season in career highs with 103 hits, 18 home runs and 76 RBI. He lead the team in RBI and 69 walks.

My Thoughts – Sorry for the cheap shot at Frenchy, I couldn’t resist. Dykstra was acquired for reliever Eddie Kunz in a swap of first round busts with San Diego early in the season. Where walks are concerned, Dykstra is the polar opposite of Francoeur – drawing 69 free passes in just 459 plate appearances. His .267/.389/.474 slash is certainly worth noting and makes the Mets the big winners in the trade, although with Ike Davis firmly entrenched at first base, and Daniel Murphy also ahead of him, something would have to give before he gets a cup of coffee anytime soon.