Twins announce 2015 Diamond Award recipients

Winners selected by Twin Cities Baseball Writers Association

The Minnesota Twins announced the Diamond Award recipients today, their annual awards for the 2015 season based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. In addition, the Twins and the BBWAA announced plans for the Eleventh Annual Diamond Awards, which will be held Thursday, January 28, 2016 at Target Field and will benefit research, education and care in brain, nerve and muscle disorders at the University of Minnesota.

Designated hitter Miguel Sano is the winner of the Calvin R. Griffith Award (the Twins first owner) given to the Most Valuable Twin along with the Bill Boni Award (Former St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press Executive Sports Editor) given to the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie. Sano appeared in 80 games, batting .269 (75-for-279) with 17 doubles, one triple, 18 home runs and 52 RBI. His 18 home runs finished eighth on the Twins all-time list for rookies, and ranked second among AL rookies and fifth among MLB rookies.

Right-handed pitcher Kyle Gibson is the winner of the Joseph W. Haynes Award (Former Twins Executive Vice President) given to the Twins Pitcher of the Year. Gibson started a team-high 32 games this season, posting a 3.84 ERA while leading the team with a career-high 145 strikeouts and 194.2 innings pitched. Gibson ranked fourth in all of baseball with 27 double plays induced.

Outfielder Torii Hunter is the winner of the of the Bob Allison Award (Former Twins Player) given to the Twins player who exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field. He is also awarded the Mike Augustin "Media Good Guy" Award (Former Pioneer Press Sports Writer). Hunter appeared in 139 games, posting a .240 (125-for-521) batting average with 22 doubles, 22 home runs and 81 RBI. Hunter, along with his wife Katrina, remain very active with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.

Outfielder Aaron Hicks is the winner of the Charles O. Johnson Award (Former Minneapolis Star Tribune Sports Editor) given to the Twins Most Improved Player. He recorded career-highs in games (97), runs (48), hits (90), home runs (11), RBI (33), stolen bases (13) and batting average (.256).

Outfielder Eddie Rosario is the winner of the Jim Kaat Award (Former Twins Pitcher) for Twins Defensive Player of the Year. Rosario played in 122 games, committing just seven errors in 243 total chances. His 16 outfield assists were most among baseball rookies, second most in the AL and tied for second most in all of baseball.

Pittsburgh Pirates' left-handed pitcher Tony Watson is the winner of the Dick Siebert Award (Former University of Minnesota Baseball Coach) given to the Upper Midwest Player of the Year. Watson, who graduated from Dallas Center-Grimes High School in Grimes, IA, went 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 77 appearances for the Pirates this season. He was drafted by Pittsburgh in the ninth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft and is the fourth non-Twin to win the award in the last 10 seasons.

Second baseman Brian Dozier is the winner of the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award. Dozier appeared in 157 games, posting a .236 (148-for-628) batting average with 39 doubles, four triples, and 28 home runs. Dozier established a community ticket program called Dozier's Heroes that provides Twins tickets to just returning military service members and their families. Along with his wife, Renee, Brian also works with Amigos for Christ, an organization helping to build schools and clean water systems in Central American countries.

The Eleventh Annual Diamond Awards dinner, which will be held on Thursday, January 28, 2016 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Target Field, will honor the 2015 BBWAA award recipients as well as the winners of the Sherry Robertson Award (Max Kepler) for the Twins Minor League Player of the Year, the Jim Rantz Award (Jose Berrios) for the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year and the Kirby Puckett Alumni Community Service Award (Julio Becquer).

All proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Minnesota's innovative research and patient care focused on ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), ataxia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Along with the award winners, current and former Twins players and coaches are scheduled to appear at the event. Corporate sponsorship opportunities, tables and individual tickets are now available. For more information on the event visit call (612) 625-7490.