The Minnesota Twins today announced the recipients of the Diamond Awards, their annual awards for the 2022 season, based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America and the Twins Community Fund Board of Directors. In addition, the Twins and the BBWAA announced plans for the 18th annual Diamond Awards, which will be held on Thursday, January 26, 2023 at The Depot Minneapolis and will benefit research, education and care in brain, nerve and muscle disorders at the University of Minnesota. Since its inception in 2006, the event has raised nearly $4 million through a combination of corporate sponsorships and money raised through auction items.
Shortstop Carlos Correa is the winner of several honors, including the Most Valuable Twin Award; the Bob Allison Award (former Twins player), given to the Twins player who exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field; the Jim Kaat Award (former Twins pitcher) for Twins Defensive Player of the Year; and the Mike Augustin “Media Good Guy” Award (former Pioneer Press Sports Writer).
Correa hit .291 (152-for-522) with 24 doubles, one triple, 22 home runs, 64 RBI, 61 walks, 70 runs scored, a .467 slugging percentage, an .834 OPS and a 5.4 bWAR in 136 games for the Twins. His 22 home runs are tied for the second most in a single season by a Twins shortstop, trailing only Roy Smalley’s 24 in 1979, and he ranked second on the Twins in home runs and walks, while tying for second in RBI. Defensively, Correa ranked fifth among American League shortstops in fielding percentage (.983). Off the field, Correa quickly established himself as a clubhouse leader after signing with the Twins in March, taking younger players under his wing and leading by example, while simultaneously cultivating a strong relationship with the media.
Correa is also the winner of the Carl R. Pohlad Outstanding Community Service Award. In 2022, Correa continued to use his Correa Family Foundation to enrich and better the lives of those who need it, with a special emphasis on pediatric cancer patients and their families. Alongside his wife, Daniella, Correa participated in the first annual Twins Week of Service, helping with a food packing event at Target Field. Carlos and Daniella also hosted a Hero of the Month once per month at Target Field. Through this special experience, a child battling cancer and their family had the chance to experience a game from the Target Field Champions Club and meet Carlos. In September, the Correa Family Foundation partnered with the Minnetonka Baseball Association on a fundraiser aimed at encouraging kids to help other kids through fundraising. Additionally, Correa and his foundation worked closely with the Minnesota Twins Community Fund to help further the Fund’s mission and assist it in fulfilling its goals.
Utility player Nick Gordon is the winner of the Charles O. Johnson Award for Most Improved Twin. Gordon hit .272 (110-for-405) with 28 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 50 RBI, six stolen bases, 19 walks and 45 runs scored in 136 games for the Twins. He set career highs in every offensive category and his triples total ranked tied for ninth in the American League. Gordon also appeared at six different positions (pitcher, second base, third base, shortstop, leftfield and centerfield) and starting games at four of the six (second base, shortstop, leftfield and centerfield).
Rookie reliever Jhoan Duran is the winner of the Joseph W. Haynes Award (former Twins Executive Vice President), given to the Twins Pitcher of the Year, as well as the Bill Boni Award (former St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press Executive Sports Editor), given to the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie. Duran made his major league debut on Opening Day and went 2-4 with a 1.86 ERA (67.2 IP, 14 ER), eight saves, 18 holds, 16 walks, 89 strikeouts, a 0.98 WHIP and .207 (50-for-242) opponent batting average in 57 relief appearances for the Twins in 2022. He ranked 11th among all rookies in strikeouts and second among rookie relievers. He also finished the season tied for fourth among major league rookies in saves, while recording the second-most saves in a single campaign by a rookie in Twins history (1961-present). Duran is just the fifth rookie to win the Twins Pitcher of the Year award, joining Jim Hughes in 1975, Doug Corbett in 1980, Brad Radke in 1995 and Scott Diamond in 2012.
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Daulton Varsho is the winner of the Dick Siebert Award (former University of Minnesota Baseball Coach) given to the Upper Midwest Player of the Year. A native of Marshfield, WI and product of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Varsho hit .235 (125-for-531) with 23 doubles, three triples, 27 home runs, 74 RBI, 16 stolen bases, 46 walks, 79 runs scored and a .745 OPS in 151 games for the Diamondbacks in 2022, his third year and first full season in the majors. He tied for the Arizona team lead in triples and ranked second on the club in games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, home runs and RBI, while also being third in stolen bases and fourth in doubles.
Former Twins infielder Al Newman is the winner of the Kirby Puckett Award for Twins Alumni Community Service. A member of the Twins’ two World Series-winning clubs in 1987 and 1991, Newman chose to make his home in Minnesota after his playing days ended and became a respected coach and mentor in the area. He created “Newmie Rewards LLC” in 2008, a business aimed at raising money for local athletic teams. Part of that venture was a weekly family-friendly radio show about sports. Newman also served as the head coach of the Apple Valley High School baseball team in 2010 and was a coach for the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League, a summer collegiate wood bat team, as well as working for Acceleration Baseball in St. Cloud as an instructor. Helping young players succeed on and off the diamond is one of his central goals and something that brings him joy. More recently, he was appointed to the St. Joseph Park Board, where he’ll continue to play a critical role in the advancement and development of diamond sports across Minnesota.
The 18th annual Diamond Awards will honor the 2022 BBWAA award recipients, as well as the winners of the Sherry Robertson Award (Matt Wallner) for Twins Minor League Player of the Year and the Jim Rantz Award (Louie Varland) for Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year. All proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Minnesota’s innovative research and patient care focused on ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), ataxia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. For more information on the event visit diamondawards.umn.edu or call (612) 624-4897.
(info courtesy of Twins)