As we’ve reached the end of the 2021 season for the Worcester Bravehearts, which happened a few days too early for their fans, it’s time to hand out some awards. Named for the moniker this blogger used 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, starting with Dennis Colleran being named the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s “Top Pro Prospect” for pitchers. WooBall had one FCBL “Pitcher of the Month” winner, and that was Bryce Afthim for July. L.J. Keevan was the sole winner of “Pitcher of the Week” for the Bravehearts, winning that in early July.
For “Pitcher of the Night” WooBall had multiple winners, with Alex Amalfi winning three times. Max LeBlanc won it twice, and Bryce Afthim, Luke Delongchamp, L.J. Keevan, and Tyler Mudd each won once. For “Batter of the Night” both Tayven Kelley and Gavin Noriega won twice, with Zach DeMattio, Randy Flores, and Andrew Selima winning one time each.
Many players were named to the FCBL “Team of the Month”, with Alex Amalfi being named for May/June and Bryce Afthim, Jack Choate, Dennis Colleran, and Randy Flores all making the July squad. As of posting time an August team had not been announced.
Participants in the FCBL All-Star game were Alex Amalfi, Jack Choate, Randy Flores, Dakota Harris, L.J. Keevan, Tayven Kelly, Nick Martin, Tyler Mudd, Gavin Noriega, El Rico Riley, Sebastian Salado, and Andrew Selima.
The FCBL often announces an “All-FCBL Team,”, but as of posting time that had not taken place yet.
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.
For the first time ever in the history of the 210 Awards, we have an unbreakable tie between Tyler Mudd and L.J. Keevan. Mudd, who will be entering Holy Cross in the fall, gets named for his 2-0 record and four saves. He struck out 48 batters in 35.1 innings, and his 2.04 ERA was the best on the staff for pitchers who threw a minimum of 25 innings. He held opposing batters to a .186 batting average. Keevan, who is headed to UMass-Lowell, went 2-0 in ten appearances, striking out 44 in 23.2 innings. He held opposing batters to a .193 average and his WHIP of 1.01 tops the WooBall regulars.
Max LeBlanc is another easy pick. The incoming UMass-Amherst sophomore was 4-1 in 11 regular-season starts with WooBall, striking out 63 in 51.1 innings. In the 11 regular-season games he pitched in Worcester’s record was 9-2
Randy Flores is the winner in a crowded field. The Franklin Pierce junior tied the Bravehearts single-season and career mark with five triples and tacked on a team-leading 19 stolen bases. This season, he was one of many players to tie the WooBall single-game mark for stolen bases with three on June 24.
Westfield State’s Nick Martin gets the nod, setting the Bravehwarts franchise record by playing in 52 games this season. Martin led the squad in runs scored, was tied for second in home runs, and was second in walks.
Alex Amalfi is the winner here in what looks to be the closest category this season. Lots of decent choices here, but Amalfi was just a touch better than the rest.
Gavin Noriega led all Worcester qualified batters in batting average, was second in hits, tied for first in doubles, was second in home runs, first in RBI and Total Bases. That’s pretty much the definition of “Best Hitter”
Best Power Hitter
Gavin Noriega led WooBall in extra base hits, plus all that “Best Hitter” stuff.
Best Single-Game Performance
For the first time ever we opened this award up to a fan vote, and the winner was L.J. Keevan with 5IP, 0R, 2H, 10K on July 6 at Pittsfield. The ten strikeouts tied the Wooball single-game record for Ks by a relief pitcher.
Pitcher of the Year
Alex Amalfi, for being named 210Sports “Pitcher of the Week” most often. It was a tie-breaking vote between him and Max LeBlanc, and Amalfi gets the nod.
Batter of the Year
Gavin Noriega, for being named 210Sports “Batter of the Week” most often. He was named the last three weeks of the regular season, a first for 210Sports.
Most Valuable Player
There’s a bunch of really good candidates, but only one great one, and that’s Gavin Noriega.
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