As we’ve reached the end of the 2019 season for the Worcester Bravehearts it’s time to hand out some awards. Named for the moniker this blogger uses on several sports message boards, the “210 Awards” officially began in 2009 when the Worcester Sharks were in town. Starting in the 2015 season the award posting was begun for the Bravehearts.
We’ll first take a look at some of the official awards and accomplishments of the Bravehearts during the regular season. Pitchers Shawn Babineau and Angelo Baez picked up the most FCBL mentions, beginning with Baez winning FCBL “Pitcher of the Year”. Babineau won FCBL “Pitcher of the Month” in June, and Baez picked up the same award in July. That award also means each was named to the FCBL “Team of the Month” for that month. Babineau won FCBL “Pitcher of the Week” twice, while Baez won once. For FCBL “Pitcher of the Night” it was Baez winning five times. Babineau was named on three occasions.
Others on Worcester’s pitching staff won weekly and nightly league mentions, with Eric Chavarria winning “Pitcher of the Week” once and “Pitcher of the Night” three times. Jack Moynihan won each award once. Evan Moore won the nightly honor once.
For the hitters both John Thrasher and Ben Rice were named to the FCBL “Team of the Month” for July. Rice was named FCBL “Player of the Night” twice. Tyler Becker also won the nightly mention twice, and Ben McNeill, Mack Cheli, Nick Martin, and Mariano Ricciardi all one it once.
Participants in the FCBL All-Star game were Babineau, Baez, Jakob Barker, Becker, Chavarria, Paul Coumoulos, Bryce Hellgeth, Riley Livingston, McNeill, Ricciardi, and Jakob Sessa.
For the playoffs, Ricciardi was named MVP of the FCBL Finals. Barker was named “Pitcher of the Week” and Rice “Player of the Week” for the playoffs. Nightly pitching honors went to Baez, Barker, Chavarria, McCabe Sargent, Moynihan, and Jack Steele. Livingston named “Player of the Night” during the playoff week twice. Ricciardi, Chris Rinaldi, and Thrasher all were mentioned once.
As always, the following “210 Awards” are just one man’s opinion. If you think I got one wrong, feel free to leave a comment below. Also, I generally like to limit the number of categories a player can win to spread the mentions around a bit. Take that into account when deciding if my picks are wrong.
Jack Moynihan gets the nod on this one. The Bravehearts didn’t have a lot of freshman on the roster, but even if they had it’s hard not to pick the the one that threw a no-hitter. If there was any doubt his 2+ innings in the title clinching game, considering the circumstances, might have been enough to win the award on its own.
Jakob Barker is this year’s winner here. The fireballer showed his versatility when was used in lots of different situations this season, but no matter when in the game he was used you knew he was going to pile on the strikeouts. Again, another pitcher who solidified his choice with several huge performances in the post season.
Shawn Babineau earned the choice here, and started the season on fire before a shoulder issue slowed him down a bit toward season’s end. A healthy Babineau would have absolutely made a run at some of the other awards. Maybe he’ll get another chance next season.
Riley Livingston wins in a tight race. Catchers tend to not get noticed at this level unless something really good or really bad happens. But what you can’t help but notice was the Bravehearts record in the 22 regular season games he played: 16-6. Now add 5-1 in the playoffs, and you have your winner.
Angelo Baez is the pick here in a tight race. The deciding factor was what happened on Saturday when the Bristol Blues whined that Baez should be ruled ineligible for game one, despite the rules on the FCBL web page clearly saying he should have been, because a scheduling conflict at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field during playoff week resulted in game one taking place on Saturday and not Friday, a day Baez would be prohibited by rule to pitch. So if the FCBL runners-up know he’s the Bravehearts best pitcher, who am I to argue?
Mariano Ricciardi is the easy winner. No player was on base base more often for Worcester than Ricciardi, who led the team in hits, doubles, walks, and runs created. Holder of the FCBL career walks record and 14 different Bravehearts franchise records, Ricciardi had a 21 game on-base streak this season.
Best Power Hitter
Ben Rice is this season’s choice. Usually Worcester has a traditional power hitter in its line-up, but this season home runs didn’t play a huge role in their offense. Rice led the Bravehearts in the regular season with just five homers, but his 12 extra base hits placed him second on the team in about half as many plate appearances as those with closer numbers. His post season numbers include a new franchise playoff season RBI mark (11).
Best Single Game Performance
Jack Moynihan’s seven inning no-hitter on July 31st is this year’s winner. Moynihan needed just 78 pitches to dispatch the Bristol Blues, and walked just one. He faced three batters over the minimum, mostly due to some shaky defense behind him in the seventh inning.
Pitcher of the Year
Angelo Baez, for being named 210Sports “Pitcher of the Week” most often.
Batter of the Year
Ben Rice, for being named 210Sports “Batter of the Week” most often. I had to go to a tie-breaking vote, and Rice was the unanimous choice.
Most Valuable Player
Mariano Ricciardi. A leader both on the field and off, Ricciardi meets every definition of MVP you can think of, and may have been the easiest choice of all the awards this season.