Local writers honor Dozier with 3 Diamond Awards

Local writers honor Dozier with 3 Diamond Awards

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced Wednesday the winners of the annual Diamond Awards, with second baseman Brian Dozier earning three honors, including the Calvin R. Griffith Award as the Most Valuable Twin.

Dozier, who hit .268/.340/.546 with 42 homers, 99 RBIs and 104 runs in 155 games, is also the recipient of the Charles O. Johnson Award for Most Improved Twin and the Bob Allison Award given to the Twins player who exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field.

The 12th annual Diamond Awards, which will be held January 26 at Target Field, are based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The event benefits research, education and care in brain, nerve and muscle disorders at the University of Minnesota.

Former Twins general manager Terry Ryan will also be honored with the Mike Augustin "Media Good Guy" Award. The long-time GM, who was dismissed in July, was known as perhaps the most accessible executive in baseball, meeting with the local media before every game.

Right-hander Ervin Santana, who led the rotation by posting a 3.38 ERA in 181 1/3 innings, was named the Twins Pitcher of the Year, winning the Joseph W. Haynes Award.

Right fielder Max Kepler was named the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie, beating out other candidates such as Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco. Kepler, who hit .235/.309/.424 with 17 homers, 30 doubles and 63 RBIs in 113 games, receives the Bill Boni Award.

Buxton, though, also won some hardware, as he was named the Twins Defensive Player of the Year, winning the Jim Kaat Award. The speedy Buxton made countless highlight-reel type plays in center.

Statcast: Buxton's running grab

Shortstop Eduardo Escobar is the winner of the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award, as the Venezuela native created a foundation in his home country to give children in need access to food, clothing and sporting equipment. He also hosts youth baseball clinics and created a program in Minneapolis for Spanish-speaking students to receive free tickets to games. Escobar personally meets with the students before the game.

Outside the organization, Padres reliever Brad Hand is the winner for the Dick Siebert Award given to the Upper Midwest Player of the Year. Hand, a Chaska, Minn., native, posted a 2.92 ERA in 82 appearances with San Diego.

Addtionally, Hall of Famer Rod Carew will be honored with the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award. Next year will be the 40th anniversary of his outstanding season in 1977, when he won the American League MVP Award after hitting .388 with 239 hits in 155 games.

Carew remains active with the Twins and the local community, including the Heart of 29 campaign, which was created this year after he suffered a massive heart attack last year. The campaign helped raise money and awareness for heart health.

Carew joins Carneal (2006), Tom Mee ('07), Carl Pohlad ('08), Jerry Bell ('09), Bert Blyleven ('10), John Gordon ('11), Jim Rantz ('12) and Tony Oliva ('13) as the only recipients of the award.

Others who will be honored include Zack Granite as Minor League Player of the Year, Stephen Gonsalves as Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and former Twins right-hander Jim "Mudcat" Grant winning the Kirby Puckett Alumni Community Service Award.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.