Padres announce 2011 organizational award winners

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres today announced their 2011 organizational award winners at the 14th Annual Awards Dinner held this year as Dinner on the Diamond presented by Porsche at Petco Park.  Proceeds from tonight’s event benefit the Padres Foundation’s Youth Baseball Initiative.


As was previously announced, Cameron Maybin was named Most Valuable Player for the 2011 Padres by the San Diego chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Maybin was also voted by the Madres as Favorite New Padre last season while Luke Gregerson was chosen as the recipient of the Chairman’s Award for his contributions to the community. Heath Bell was chosen as Pitcher of the Year by the local BBWAA chapter and also received the Fireman’s Award.


The Padres 2011 minor league award winners were also recognized as part of the ceremony.  Jedd Gyorko was named Offensive Player of the Year, Rico Noel was chosen as Defensive Player of the Year, Keyvius Sampson was named Pitcher of the Year and Rymer Liriano was recognized as Baserunner of the Year. Included in the minor league awards were the Denny Galehouse Scout of the Year and Jack Krol Minor League Coach of the Year, given to Tim Holt and Tom Tornincasa, respectively.


Maybin, 24, was unanimously chosen as the Padres 2011 MVP after finishing his first season with San Diego by hitting .264 (136-for-516) with 24 doubles, eight triples, nine home runs, 40 RBI, 82 runs scored and 40 stolen bases.  The outfielder started 132 games, all in center field, posting a .901 zone rating in center field, the second-best defensive mark among all qualifying National League center fielders last season.  He led the team in runs, triples, stolen bases and also with a career-high 37 multiple hit games.  On the base paths, he stole a base in a franchise-record six-straight games in July of 2011 and was also successful on 21-straight steal attempts from May to August, the longest such streak by a Padre since first base coach Dave Roberts stole 25-straight in 2006 (ELIAS).


Gregerson, 27, was the 2011 recipient of the Chairman’s Award, given annually to the player, manager or coach who best exemplifies the community spirit of the club. Last year the right-hander hosted a bowling fundraiser which raised more than $13,000 for Just in Time for Foster Youth, a local charity and Struggling Youths Equals Successful Adults (SYESA) a non-profit organization based in Chicago, IL.  In addition to hosting fundraisers for SYESA he also serves as a member of their Board of Directors.  Gregerson also serves as the team representative for MLBPA Players Trust and hosts an annual Busses for Baseball program benefitting disadvantaged youth at Petco Park.   He annually supports the teams Padres Scholars program and supports many of the club’s community and military initiatives.


Gyorko, 23, hit .333 (192-for-576) with 47 doubles, 25 home runs, 114 RBI and 119 runs scored in 140 games between Single-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. The infielder led all of minor league baseball with his 192 hits and led the California League with a .365 (124-for-340) average for the Storm.  After the season, he also participated in the Arizona Fall League and led the league in batting average by hitting .437 (31-for-71) for the Peoria Javelinas. Gyorko was selected by the Padres in the second-round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of West Virginia University.


Noel, 23, spent the majority of the 2011 campaign playing center field for the Single-A Fort Wayne where he posted a .996 fielding percentage. The outfielder committed just one error in 263 total chances over 94 games for the TinCaps while also making nine assists. Noel was selected by the Padres in the fifth-round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.


Sampson, 22, went 12-3 with a 2.90 ERA (38 ER/118.0 IP), a .191 (81-for-423) opponents batting average and 143 strikeouts against 49 walks over 24 starts for Single-A Fort Wayne in 2011.  He was named a Midwest League mid-season All-Star as well as a Low Class-A All-Star by Baseball America after the season.  The right-hander ranked third in the league in strikeouts, fourth in WHIP (1.10), tied for fourth in wins and seventh in ERA.  Sampson was selected by the Padres in the fourth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.


Liriano, 20, stole 66 bases in 87 attempts last season, spending the majority of the year at Single-A Fort Wayne. His 66 stolen bases ranked third most in professional baseball in 2011. The outfielder was also named the Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year for the Midwest League after the season, hitting .319 (145-for-455) with 30 doubles, eight triples, 12 home runs, 62 RBI, 81 runs scored and 65 steals for the TinCaps. A native of the Dominican Republic, he was signed by the Padres as a non-drafted free agent in July of 2007.


Holt was honored with the 2011 Denny Galehouse Scout of the Year Award following his eighth year with the Padres organization. Serving as supervisor of the central region of the country since 2010, he was hands on with the recruiting, training and mentoring of several scouts this past season and played an integral part of the success of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Holt was chosen as scout of the year because of his ability to evaluate, organization, leadership skills, selfless commitment to the Padres and for truly wanting what is best for the organization.


Tornincasa completed his 12th season as a coach in the Padres organization in 2011, and his third overall with Double-A San Antonio. With his aid, the Missions took home the Texas League Championship in 2011, leading the league in runs scored (801) and doubles (291), ranking second in batting average (.269) and third in home runs (159). The Texas League Championship team was the second coached by Tornincasa and his third overall, also serving as hitting coach for the 2007 League Champion Missions and in the same capacity for the 2009 Midwest League Champion Fort Wayne TinCaps.