Rafters RHP Cole Kimball wins 2012 Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award

Salt River Rafters’ right-handed relief pitcher Cole Kimball (Nationals) is the 2012 recipient of the Arizona Fall League’s Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award.

In addition to his character and leadership, he posted a 4.80 ERA and one hold in 11 relief appearances without a decision. He struck out 10 in 15 innings pitched.

Kimball, who pitched for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the 2010 Fall League, returned to Arizona this year to continue rehabilitation from his July, 2011 rotator cuff surgery in his right (pitching) shoulder.

His rehab began in 2012 with brief stops with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals, Class-A Hagerstown, High A Potomac, and Double-A Harrisburg, pitching just 5.2 innings in just six appearances.

Prior to his injury, the Brooklyn, NY native made 12 appearances for the parent Washington Nationals in 2011, recording a 1-0 record and 1.93 ERA.

The 6–4, 250-pounder is a seven-year professional after being selected by Washington in the 12th round (385th overall) of the 2006 draft out of Centenary College.

Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award — The Fall League instituted the Stenson Award in 2004 in memory of former AFL player Dernell Stenson, who was killed in 2003 in Arizona during the AFL season. Stenson played for the Grand Canyon Rafters in 1998 and was playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions at the time of his death.

The award is presented annually to the Fall League player who best exemplifies unselfishness, hard work, and leadership. The manager and coaching staff from each of the six Fall League teams nominate one player for the award.

Other Nominees — Other players nominated for the 2012 Stenson Award were third baseman IF David Adams (Scottsdale/Yankees), IF Nick Ahmed (Phoenix/Braves), RHP Tyler Clark (Mesa/Tigers) and Mike O’Neill (Surprise/Cardinals).