Hughes leads Twins winners of Diamond Awards

Right-hander named club's Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year

Hughes leads Twins winners of Diamond Awards

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced Thursday the winners of the annual Diamond Awards, which are based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Right-hander Phil Hughes was named both the Twins' Most Valuable Player as the recipient of the Calvin R. Griffith Award as well as Twins Pitcher of the Year, receiving the Joseph W. Haynes Award. The right-hander went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA and 186 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 209 2/3 innings. He set the record for the best single-season strikeout-to-walk ratio (11.63)in Major League Baseball history.

Ron Gardenhire will also be honored with the Mike Augustin Media Good Guy Award for the way he handled himself with the press in his 13th and final season as Twins manager. Gardenhire went 1,068-1,039 as manager of the Twins, leading Minnesota to six American League Central titles, but was dismissed on Sept. 29 after the club lost more than 90 games for a fourth straight season.

The awards will be given out at the 10th annual Diamond Awards dinner on Jan. 22, 2015, at Target Field. The event will benefit research, education and care in brain, nerve and muscle disorders at the University of Minnesota.

Shortstop/center fielder Danny Santana was named the club's Most Outstanding Rookie, winning the Bill Boni Award. He hit .319 with 27 doubles, seven triples, seven homers and 40 RBIs in 101 games.

Left-hander Brian Duensing is the winner of the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award. Duensing is an active supporter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and helps raise awareness for childhood cancer.

Catcher Kurt Suzuki is also being honored for his off-the-field work, as he's winner of the Bob Allison Award given to the Twins player who exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field. Along with his wife, Renee, Suzuki is active in many off-field charitable events throughout the season, including the Kurt Suzuki Baseball Clinic in Maui, the Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation, the NephCure Foundation and raising money for the Jon Wilhite Recovery Fund.

Shortstop Eduardo Escobar was named the Twins' Most Improved Player, earning the Charles O. Johnson Award. Escobar hit .275, while also adding 35 doubles and 37 RBIs in 133 games.

His double-play partner Brian Dozier was honored for his work at second base, as he's the winner of the Jim Kaat Award for Twins Defensive Player of the Year. Dozier made just 15 errors in a team-high 156 games, also showing impressive range at his position.

Former Twins reliever Pat Neshek, a Minnesota native, was also named the Upper Midwest Player of the Year, winning the Dick Siebert Award after posting a 1.87 ERA with the Cardinals. Neshek is the third non-Twin to win the award in the last nine seasons.

The Diamond Awards will also honor the winners of the Sherry Robertson Award (Kennys Vargas) 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 (Kaat).

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.