After getting just three nominations in 2013 (and winning none), the Blue Jays received eight nominations for this year's edition of Minor League Baseball's online awards, the MiLBYs. They may not seem as prestigious as, say, the Nobel Prizes, but at least you can vote for the winners of the MiLBYs! (Sidenote: I wonder how many of our readers also serve on a Nobel Committee.)
Blue Jays Nominees
Top Starting Pitcher
RHP Kendall Graveman
LHP Daniel Norris
Despite some good competition with Brian Johnson and Tyler Glasnow, Graveman deserves to take this category for putting up great numbers in a season that saw him rise from low-A Lansing to triple-A Buffalo (before his major league callup).
Top Relief Pitcher
RHP Arik Sikula
Arik Sikula is in for an uphill battle in this category, even though he led the affiliated minor leagues in saves (31). Mets prospect Akeel Morris simply had a stellar season (57 IP, 0.63 ERA / 1.90 FIP, 42.2% K, 0.72 WHIP, 91.1% LOB).
LHP Daniel Norris
OF Dalton Pompey
This is a very hard category to vote for, as I don't really know how well the other prospects were thought of before this season. It's even a hard decision to choose between Daniel Norris and Dalton Pompey, but I will give Pompey the slight edge.
Best Farm System
Toronto Blue Jays
This is another difficult category to vote for: in the MiLBYs context, I interpret "Best Farm System" as the system that performed the best in a particular season, not the system with the best prospects. For that I will vote for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who had the highest organizational winning percentage, most number of postseason teams, home runs, and batting average. The Boston Red Sox system comes a close second.
Brett Wallace's 3 HR, 6 RBI game
They referred to Wallace as a "prospect"! He might not actually be one any more but credit to Wallace, he did exactly what the front office wanted to see him do when they traded for him: contribute offensively and play first base in Buffalo after Dan Johnson's call-up. After his acquisition from the Orioles system, his OPS improved by over 200 points and he was a big factor in bringing the Bisons back into a playoff race. While hitting a walkoff grand slam to cap a three-homer game that put the Bisons into the lead for the wildcard race is a pretty great performance, I think Andres Santiago's 12-K no-hitter deserves the nod here.
Munenori Kawasaki's dugout chat with Ben Wagner and Duke McGuire (audio improves around 0:38)
OK. This isn't even a "blooper", just Kawasaki being Kawasaki, so I don't even think it should be given consideration. It wasn't even the weirdest thing he did on Bisons television this year. I give my vote in this category to Corey Brown, who broke the outfield padding on a catch. Because it's the minor leagues, he and Daniel Nava (on rehab) had to fix it themselves.
One notable Blue Jays "snub" is in the Top Play category. Ryan Goins should have at least been recognized for this play (I was there in person so I am a bit biased):
Boooooooo to the nominating committee. You don't need to sign up to vote and I'm not sure if there's even a vote limit, so click the link below and give your Blue Jays minor leaguers some love. Let us know in the comments who you are voting for.