The Cincinnati Reds announced their minor league award winners this week. Usually this takes place at Redsfest, but once again the event was cancelled. That led to the awards being announced on the Reds Hot Stove League show this week.
Player of the Year
The Sheldon Chief Bender Player of the Year Award went to Jose Barrero. This one was an easy call for me when I handed out my version of the player of the year award earlier in the offseason, and it was probably an easy call for the decision makers for the Reds, too. The shortstop played at both the Double-A level with Chattanooga and the Triple-A level with Louisville where he hit a combined .303/.380/.539 with 19 doubles, a triple, 19 home runs, and 16 stolen bases in just 85 games before he was called up to Cincinnati in August to help the big league club down the stretch.
Hitter of the Year
Just like Jose Barrero, Alejo Lopez saw action in Double-A, Triple-A, and Major League Baseball this past season. In the minors he got out to a hot start in Chattanooga and hit .362 in the first month and was promoted to Triple-A. He didn’t slow down much, hitting for more power and walking 50% more than he struck out with the Bats. Between his two stops he hit .320/.401/.447 with 27 doubles, 6 home runs, 9 steals, 45 walks, and just 32 strikeouts in 92 games played in the minors.
Pitcher of the Year
The 2021 pitcher of the year went to reliever Dauri Moreta. The Reds only hand out one “pitcher” award. Moreta got the nod for me as the reliever of the year. Just like the other two award winners, Moreta began the year in Chattanooga and dominated as he allowed four earned runs in 26.2 innings before being promoted to Louisville. Once in Triple-A he didn’t allow a run until his 23rd appearance and finished the season there with a two earned runs for the Bats in 26.1 innings. Before being called up to Cincinnati to finish out the year, Moreta posted a 1.02 ERA in 53.0 innings where he allowed just 31 hits, walked just 9 batters, and struck out 58 while going 6-0 and picking up 8 saves.