As we’ve reached the end of the 2022 season for the Worcester Bravehearts, which for the first time in franchise history didn’t include a playoff berth, 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, with Gavin Noriega being named the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s Most Valuable Player. It’s the third time in five seasons a Worcester player has been named league MVP. Noriega was also named FCBL “Player of the Month” for July and “Player of the Week” for the July 4th holiday week. He was also a member of the FCBL’s July “Team of The Month” as the first baseman and was joined on that team by catcher Cam Seymour.
For the May/June “Team of The Month” T.J. Wachter was named as the designated hitter and Ben Smith made the team as a starting pitcher.
The Bravehearts had five different players win “Player of the Night”, with T.J. Wachter being named three times and Lewis Barnum, Kosta Drosidis, Gavin Noriega, and Conner Peek each getting the nod once. They had four different players win “Pitcher of the Night”, with Chris Grome, Kyle Rizy, Clay Robbins, and Sean Scanlon each being named once.
WooBall had eight participants in the FCBL All-Star game, with Jack Goodman, Sal Grinstead, Jake Marquez, Sebastian Mexico, Gavin Noriega, Kyle Rizy, Cam Seymour, and T.J. Wachter taking part.
Two other things worth noting, Andrew Chronister was the Bravehearts winner of the “Adam Keenan Award”, and Jack Goodman was selected in the Major League draft by the Texas Rangers (15th round/439).
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 or on our Facebook page. 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.
Quabbin Regional High School graduate Gavin Price is the winner for this one. Price, who will be heading to Fairleigh Dickinson University in the fall, started the summer off slowly but put it all together as the season progressed, not allowing an earned run over his last 13 innings pitched. In his final start of the summer, he struck out eight Lake Monster batters in five frames.
Despite being injured in mid-July T.J. Wachter is the pick here. The Fordham sophomore played 22 WooBall games before getting injured, reaching base in all but one of them. Despite missing half the season he still finished tied for second on the team in home runs and was on a pace for being in the top three in many statistical categories. One can only imagine the numbers Wachter would have put up in a full season.
In a very deep junior class Lewis Barnum is this year’s winner. Barnum had an outstanding season, finishing near or at the top of most of the WooBall offensive categories. His four triples tied for the team lead and were one off both the single-season and career marks. He had two on-base streaks of 15 games or longer and tied the WooBall record for most consecutive games with an extra-base hit.
The Bravehearts didn’t have many seniors on the roster this season, but nearly all of them could have easily been named here. That being the case, Whitinsville, Mass native Matt Livingston ultimately gets the nod. The Siena senior was the most consistent player in the group and was often used as a defensive replacement late in games.
In a year where the Bravehearts finished 10 games under .500 Clay Robbins‘s 5-1 record really stands out. In games he started Worcester had a 7-2 record and his ERA of 2.46 led all WooBall pitchers with 40 or more innings pitched, and his 44 strikeouts were second on the team. The Southern Maine sophomore would be a great cornerstone to rebuild the Bravehearts pitching staff in 2023 if he chooses to return to the FCBL.
There weren’t many offensive categories Gavin Noriega didn’t lead or place in the top-three for, and his career numbers for WooBall have rewritten their record book. The amazing news is he’s listed as a junior, so he could potentially return for a third season and put many more Bravehearts’ records in jeopardy of falling. His 21 doubles this season tied the FCBL mark.
Best Power Hitter
Cam Seymour‘s 12 home runs were four times as many as the players who tied for second on the team and were as many as the five players behind him on the list combined for. His 18 extra-base hits were second best on the squad.
Best Single-Game Performance
Gavin Noriega went 3-4 with two triples and a home run in a seven-inning game on July 31 vs Norwich. He also scored three runs and had five RBI.
Pitcher of the Year
Kyle Rizy, for being named 210Sports “Pitcher of the Week” three times.
Batter of the Year
Gavin Noriega, for being named 210Sports “Batter of the Week” three times.
Most Valuable Player
Gavin Noriega is the easy choice, and wins this for the second year in a row, joining the WorSharks Alex Stalock as the only player to be named as 210Sports team MVP in two consecutive seasons. Stalock didn’t win a third, Noriega might have a chance next season for a three-peat.
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