BLUE JAYS ANNOUNCE 2011 WEBSTER AWARD WINNERS

By on September 16, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays
TORONTO, ONTARIO
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2011
       

        The TORONTO BLUE JAYS are pleased to announce the following players have been selected as this year’s recipients of the R. HOWARD WEBSTER AWARDS, recognizing the most valuable players at each of the Club’s minor league affiliated teams: 1B DAVID COOPER (AAA), C TRAVIS d’ARNAUD (AA), C AJ JIMENEZ (A), OF JAKE MARISNICK (Low-A), LHP JUSTIN NICOLINO (Short-A), OF CHRIS HAWKINS (Rookie Advanced), SS JORGE VEGA-ROSADO (Rookie) and LHP JAIRO LABOURT (DSL).
        MARISNICK becomes the 24th player in Blue Jays history to win two or more WEBSTER AWARDS, having won with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays last season. The rest are first time winners.
DAVID COOPER (First Baseman) .364, 51 2B, 9HR, 96 RBI, .974 OPS
6-0, 200, Age-24, Born-Stockton, CA Bats: Left
Las Vegas – Pacific Coast League (AAA)

    The 1st round pick in the 2008 draft (17th overall) led the PCL in AVG, (.364), 2B (51), OBP (.439) and T-10th in RBI (96). His .364 average and 51 doubles were 2nd in all of MILB and his performance earned him a selection to the PCL All-Star game.
TRAVIS d’ARNAUD (Catcher) – .311, 21 HR, 78 RBI, .914 OPS
6-2, 195, Age-22, Born-Long Beach, CA Bats: Right
New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Eastern League (AA)

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      Acquired in the Roy Halladay trade from Philadelphia prior to the 2010 season, d’Arnaud earned Eastern League MVP honours for his stellar season. He ranked 1st in the EL in SLG (.542), 2nd in OPS (.914), 4th in HR (21) and 5th in AVG (.311) and also appeared in the Eastern League All-Star Game. A Baseball America Coaches Poll ranked the 37th overall pick in 2007 as the best defensive catcher in the Eastern League.
AJ JIMENEZ (Catcher) – .303, 4 HR, 52 RBI, 11 SB, .770 OPS
5-11, 200, Age-21, Born-San Juan, Puerto Rico Bats: Right
Dunedin Blue Jays – Florida State League (A Advanced)

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      Jimenez is widely regarded as a top defender and was also selected the top Florida State League defensive catcher in a Baseball America Coaches Poll. The 9th round selection in 2008 finished 9th in the FSL with a team leading .303 average and threw out 44% of all base stealers earning him a place on the Post Season All-Star squad.
JAKE MARISNICK (Outfielder) – .320, 14 HR, 77 RBI, 37 SB, .888 OPS
6-4, 200, Age-20, Born-Riverside, CA Bats: Right
Lansing Lugnuts – Midwest League (A)

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      Selected in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft, Marisnick ranked among the leaders in most offensive categories, finishing 2nd in AVG (.320), 4th in OBP (.392), 4th in OPS (.888), 5th in TB (229) and 7th in SB (37). The Midwest League Postseason All-Star and two-time Webster winner was the 3rd Blue Jays prospect to earn top rating in the Baseball America Coaches Poll being selected as the best hitting prospect in the Midwest League.
JUSTIN NICOLINO (LHP) – 6-2, 1.33 ERA, 61.0 IP, 39 H, 13 BB, 73 K
6-3, 160, Age-19, Born-Orlando, Florida Throws: Left
Vancouver Canadians – Northwest League (A-short)

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      In his first professional season, the 2nd round pick in 2010 played a key role in leading the Canadians to a playoff birth in their inaugural season. Nicolino posted a 0.75 WHIP and a 1.03 ERA which would have led the league with only nine more innings pitched. The Northwest League Postseason All-Star did not allow a run in five of his nine starts. Nicolino also started three games for Lansing after being promoted to the full season A club prior to his Aug. 25 start.
       
CHRIS HAWKINS (Outfielder) – .313, 5 HR & 52 RBI, 14 SB, .853 OPS
6-2, 195, Age-20, Born-Sugar Hill, GA Bats: Left
Bluefield – Appalachian League (Rookie Advanced)

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      The 3rd round pick from the 2010 draft earned Appalachian League All-Star honours for his performance this past season. Ranking 3rd in the APPY League in runs (49), T-3rd in triples (6), 5th in RBI (52) and 7th in TB (119), Hawkins led Bluefield to a playoff birth in their first season as a Blue Jays affiliate. His .313 average ranked 3rd among short season Blue Jays prospects.
       
JOGE VEGA-ROSADO (Shortstop) – .317, 4 HR & 30 RBI, 22 SB, .850 OPS
5-8, 175, Age-19, Born-Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico Bats: Right
Gulf Coast Blue Jays – Gulf Coast League (Rookie)

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      Vega-Rosado ranked 2nd among short season Blue Jays prospects with a .317 average. The 28th round selection in the 2011 draft ranked among the leaders in several GCL offensive categories, including T-3rd in SB (22), T-4th in hits (58), 5th in RBI (52), 6th in runs (39) and 10th in OPS (.850).
 
JAIRO LABOURT (LHP)– 0-4, 2.23 ERA, 36.1 IP, 29 H, 14 BB, 29 K
6-4, 204, Age-17, Born-Azua, Dominican Republic Throws: Left
DSL Blue Jays – Dominican Summer League

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      Labourt was a consistent contributor to the DSL Blue Jays rotation in 2011. The left-handed starter ranked 2nd on the club with 12 starts and posted a 2.23 ERA to rank 4th on the squad. The 17 year-old lefty was also named to the DSL All-Star Game in his first professional season.
Other Webster winners on Toronto’s current Major League 40-man roster include ADAM LIND (3, Auburn – 2004, Dunedin – 2005, New Hampshire – 2006), TRAVIS SNIDER (2, Pulaski – 2006, Lansing – 2007), BRETT CECIL (Auburn – 2007), JP ARENCIBIA (Las Vegas – 2010) and ERIC THAMES (New Hampshire – 2010).
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