PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks hosted their annual Minor League dinner tonight at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and honored Vice President, Special Assistant to the General Manager Bob Gebhard and Triple-A Pitching Coach Mike Parrott as recipients of the fifth annual Roland Hemond Award and Joe Garagiola, Jr. Award, respectively.
Additionally, members of the 2014 Northwest League champion Short Season-A Hillsboro and Arizona Fall League champion Salt River Rafters were presented their championship rings. RHP Aaron Blair and INF Jake Lamb received their 2014 organizational Pitcher and Player of the Year Awards and OF Socrates Brito received the 2015 Aurelio Rodriguez Award.
Gebhard, who is in his 11th season (2005-present) with the D-backs and 51st in professional baseball, earned the award, presented annually to the individual in scouting who exemplifies the qualities of strong character, dedication to the D-backs' organization and an unfailing work ethic in the search for championship-level talent. Gebhard is receiving his honor in the award-winning facility he helped construct.
Parrott is the recipient of the award, presented annually to the individual in player development who exemplifies the qualities of strong character, dedication to the D-backs' organization and commitment to excellence in the area of instruction. He is in his 19th season with the D-backs and 14th as pitching coach for the club's Triple-A affiliate, including a Triple-A National Championship in 2012.
The Hillsboro Hops won the 2014 Northwest League championship in just their second season. They compiled a 48-28 record and their 48 wins were the most among Short Season teams.
Blair and Lamb's honors are given to the most deserving pitcher and player as chosen by the D-backs' Player Development staff along with input from the Minor League coordinators and coaches at each affiliate.
Blair combined to go 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA (61 ER in 154.1 IP) in 27 games (all starts) between Single-A South Bend, Single-A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Mobile. His 171 strikeouts tied for the second-most among all Minor League pitchers. Over his final 16 starts he went 8-1 with a 3.17 ERA (33 ER in 93.2 IP) and 98 strikeouts.
Lamb hit .327 (128-for-392) with 39 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI and 63 runs scored in 108 games between Double- A Mobile and Triple-A Reno last season. He was named a Baseball America Second-Team Minor League All-Star, the Southern League's Most Outstanding Player and claimed the League's batting title with a .318 average (119-for-374).
Brito is the recipient of the award, presented annually to the D-backs' Minor Leaguer who exhibits the spirit of Aurelio Rodriguez throughout Spring Training, by showing dedication and giving their best effort every day.