The Texas Rangers today announced that pitcher Matt Harrison is the recipient of the 2017 Mark Holtz Alumni Award.
The club also announced the winners of the team's 2016 Minor League Awards:
Tom Grieve Player of the Year-Jose Trevino, High Desert Mavericks
Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year-Yohander Mendez, High Desert Mavericks/Frisco RoughRiders/Round Rock Express
Defender of the Year-Ronald Guzman, Frisco RoughRiders/Round Rock Express
Reliever of the Year-John Fasola, High Desert Mavericks/Frisco RoughRiders/Round Rock Express
Harrison was 50-35 with a 4.21 ERA in 135 games/103 starts in his eight seasons as a Ranger 2008-15. His .588 career winning percentage ranks as the fourth highest in club history among pitchers with at least 400.0 innings. He won nine of his first 12 decisions in 2008 to set a then club record for wins by a rookie lefthander. Three years later, he was the starting pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series after a 14-win regular season. Harrison followed that up with an All-Star campaign in 2012, when he was the Rangers' pitcher of the year and won 18 games, matching the most ever for a Texas lefty.
But Harrison may have earned his most admiration and respect from his courageous efforts to come back from a congenital back condition that limited him to nine big league starts over his final three seasons. In that span (2013-15), he underwent three back surgeries including a disc fusion as well as an operation for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Yet, he came back to make three starts in July 2015, including his final major league win on July 21 at Colorado. Nine days later, he was traded to Philadelphia and never pitched in another game.
Trevino, 24, batted .303 (131-433) with 30 doubles, 9 home runs, and 68 RBI over 109 games for the California League Champion High Desert Mavericks. The Corpus Christi product also rated statistically as the best defensive catcher in the California League, compiling a .998 fielding percentage and throwing out 48.0% of attempted base stealers. Trevino also earned spots on the mid-season and postseason CAL League All-Star teams.
The 21-year-old Mendez was 12-3 with a 2.19 ERA (27 ER/111.0 IP) across three levels of the Texas farm system and led all Rangers minor leaguers in wins. He made his major league debut on September 5 at Seattle and had a pair of relief appearances for the Rangers in September. Baseball America named the southpaw to its Minor League All-Star Second Team.
Guzman, 22, batted .274 (127-463) with a career-best 16 home runs and 67 RBI in 127 games with Frisco and Round Rock. The first baseman began the campaign in Frisco and finished the year with the second-highest qualifying average in the Texas League despite a late season promotion to Round Rock. In the field, Guzman started 115 games at first base and ended the season with just 2 errors in his last 35 contests. Guzman was named a Texas League Postseason All-Star and represented the Rangers at the All-Star Futures Game.
The 25-year-old Fasola combined to go 5-1 with a 3.18 ERA (18 ER/51.0 IP) over 38 relief appearances with Round Rock, Frisco, and High Desert in 2016. The Ohio native also led all Texas farmhands with 11 saves. Fasola posted a strikeout per 9.0 inning rate of better than 10.0 for the 3rd consecutive season, recording 58 strikeouts in 51.0 innings of work.
The players will be honored at the 2017 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner, which takes place on Friday, January 20 at Gilley's Dallas. Tickets for the dinner, which will honor a number of baseball personalities and feature appearances by Texas Rangers past and present, are now on sale at www.texasrangers.com/awards. Tickets for the Dr Pepper Awards Dinner are priced at $100.00 each with tables of ten available for $1000.00. Net proceeds benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. The dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m.
Gilley's Dallas is located at 1135 S. Lamar St. in Dallas. The 2017 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner is also sponsored by FOX Sports Southwest, CBS11/TXA21, and 105.3 The FAN.