The New York Mets presented their 2014 Sterling Awards in an on-field pre-game ceremony prior to last night’s 7:10 p.m. game vs. Miami. Infielder Dilson Herrera was named the Sterling Organizational Player of the Year and LHP Steven Matz earned Sterling Pitcher of the Year honors. The Sterling Award is an award given to the top player, or players, in the New York Mets organization at each level of the minor leagues, emblematic of the team’s Most Valuable Player. The award was called the Doubleday Award in honor of former Mets co-owner Nelson Doubleday, Jr.. When Doubleday sold his shares of the team to fellow co-owner Fred Wilpon, the name of the award was changed to the Sterling Silver Award.
STERLING ORGANIZATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR: DILSON HERRERA (2B)
Height: 5-10 Weight: 160 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: March 3, 1994
Obtained: Acquired from Pittsburgh on August 27, 2013 along with RHP Vic Black for catcher John Buck, outfielder Marlon Byrd and cash considerations.
Herrera became the first position player in team history to begin the season on a Single-A roster in a non-rehabilitation assignment and appear in the majors leagues later that same season. He is the youngest player currently in the majors. The first Colombian-born Met, Herrera was also the youngest player in the Eastern League hitting .323 (169-524) with 98 runs scored, 33 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs, 71 RBI, 23 stolen bases and a .379 on-base percentage in 128 games combined between Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League and St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League…Herrera hit .340 (82-241) with 50 runs scored, 17 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 48 RBI and nine stolen bases in 61 games with the BMets after he was promoted on June 19…He was a Florida State League mid-season All-Star and ranked 10th in batting average (.307) and tied for second in runs (48) at the time of his promotion.
STERLING ORGANIZATIONAL PITCHER OF THE YEAR: STEVEN MATZ (LHP)
Height: 6-2 Weight: 201 Bats: Right Throws: Left Born: May 29, 1991
Obtained: Mets second-round pick in the June 2009 First-Year Draft.
Matz finished the minor league regular season with a 10-9 record and a 2.24 ERA (35 earned runs/140.2 innings) with 131 strikeouts in 24 games, all starts, over two levels. The former second-round pick out of Ward Melville (NY) High School started his season with St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League, going 4-4 with a 2.21 ERA (17 earned runs/69.1 innings) and earning a selection to the FSL mid-season All-Star team. The Mets promoted the lefthander to Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League, where he made 12 starts and compiled a 6-5 record with a 2.27 ERA (18 earned runs/71.1 innings). Matz finished with the second-best ERA among all Mets minor leaguers and had the second-highest strikeout total. He made two postseason appearances for the B-Mets, helping them to the Eastern League title.
LAS VEGAS (AAA): Matt Reynolds (INF)
Height: 6-1 Weight: 198 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: December 3, 1990
Obtained: Mets second-round pick in the June 2012 First-Year Draft.
Reynolds hit .343 (164-478) with six home runs and 61 RBI in 126 games for Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League and Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. The former second-round pick from Arkansas started the year with the B-Mets before making his debut with the 51’s on June 19. His .343 average was the second highest among all Mets minor leaguers.
BINGHAMTON (AA): Kevin PIawecki (C)
Height: 6-2 Weight: 224 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: February 26, 1991
Obtained: Mets supplemental-round pick in the June 2012 First-Year Draft
Plawecki, who won the Sterling Organizational Co-Player of the Year last season, hit a combined .309 (116-376) with 11 home runs and 64 RBI for Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League and Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. He also started for Team USA in the Futures Game at All-Star weekend, going 0-2 with an RBI.
ST. LUCIE (A): Brandon Nimmo (OF)
Height: 6-3 Weight: 206 Bats: Left Throws: Right Born: March 27, 1993
Obtained: Mets first-round pick in 2011 First Year Player Draft
Hit .322 (73-227) with 59 runs scored, nine doubles, four home runs, 25 RBI with a .448 on-base percentage in 62 games with St. Lucie (A). He was leading the Florida State League in OBP, runs, walks (50) and was fifth in slugging (.458) when he was promoted to Binghamton (AA) on June 19. Nimmo was named to the Mid-Season FSL All-Star team. With the BMets, Nimmo had a .338 on-base percentage with 38 runs scored, 12 doubles, four triples, six home runs and 26 RBI in 65 contests. Nimmo was tied for eighth in all of minor league baseball with 86 walks.
SAVANNAH (A): Dario Alvarez (LHP) & Akeel Morris (RHP)
Alvarez – Height: 6-1 Weight: 170 Bats: Left Throws: Left Born: January 17, 1989
Obtained: Signed as a free agent in 2013.
Alvarez made his major league debut on September 3 after beginning his season with Savannah. He went 10-1 with two saves and a 1.10 ERA (nine earned runs/73.1 innings) in 29 games, six starts with Savannah (A), St. Lucie (A) and Binghamton (AA) this year. He issued 17 walks and struck out 114.
Morris – Height: 6-1 Weight: 170 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: November 14, 1992
Obtained: Mets 10th-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft
Morris went 4-1 with a 0.63 ERA (four earned runs/57.0 innings) in 41 games with Savannah. He led the South Atlantic League with 16 saves and was named to the Mid-Season All-Star team. Morris issued 22 walks and racked up 89 strikeouts. He was drafted out of Charlotte Amalie High School in St. Thomas, VI.
BROOKLYN (A): Marcos Molina (RHP)
Height: 6-3 Weight: 188 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: March 8, 1995
Obtained: Signed as a non-drafted free agent on January 11, 2012.
Molina became the first pitcher in Cyclones history to win the Triple Crown – tied for the New York-Penn League lead with seven wins and led the NYPL with 91 strikeouts and a 1.77 ERA (15 earned runs/76.1 innings). He also led the NYPL with a 0.84 WHIP and a .170 opponents’ batting average. He started the New York-Penn League All-Star Game for the South Affiliates on August 19.
KINGSPORT (R): Vicente Lupo (OF)
Height: 6-0 Weight: 180 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: November 26, 1993
Obtained: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010.
Lupo hit .278 (37-133) with seven home runs and 24 RBI in 44 games for Kingsport. His .415 on-base percentage would have ranked third in the league had he qualified. Lupo led the Appalachian League with a .504 slugging percentage. He was named the Player of the Week for consecutive periods in August (18 and 25).
GULF COAST (R): John Mora (OF)
Height: 5-11 Weight: 165 Bats: Left Throws: Left Born: May 31, 1993
Obtained: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011.
Mora combined to hit .307 (61-199) with no home runs and 17 RBI in 56 games between the GCL Mets and Brooklyn (A) of the New York-Penn League. This is Mora’s second Sterling Award; he won last season for the DSL Mets #1.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE #1 (R): Ali Sanchez (C)
Height: 6-0 Weight: 175 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: January 20, 1997
Obtained: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2013.
In his professional debut season, Sanchez hit .303 (53-175) with three home runs and 24 RBI in 50 games.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE #2: WATER RASQUIN (C)
Height: 5-9 Weight: 160 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: 3/21/96
Obtained: Signed as a non-drafted free agent on June 14, 2013
Hit .321 (53-165) with 11 doubles, one home run, 23 RBI, 12 stolen bases with a .429 on-base percentage in 58 games for the Dominican Summer League squad.