FLUSHING, N.Y., September 17, 2016 – The New York Mets today announced that outfielder Brandon Nimmo and shortstop Amed Rosario were named Sterling Minor League Organizational Co-Players of the Year and LHP P.J. Conlon earned Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year honors.
In addition, the Mets announced the 2016 Sterling Awards, emblematic of the Most Valuable Player for each of the organization’s nine minor league affiliates.
Infielder T.J. Rivera was the Sterling recipient at Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League; first baseman Dominic Smith and infielder Phillip Evans were co-winners at Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League; catcher Tomas Nido was honored at St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League; third baseman David Thompson received the award at Columbia (A) of the South Atlantic League; outfielder Desmond Lindsay was honored at Brooklyn (A) of the New York-Penn League; LHP Thomas Szapucki for Kingsport (R) of the Appalachian League; catcher Carlos Sanchez was selected for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Mets; outfielder Raul Beracierta captured the award for the Dominican Summer League Mets I and infielder Andres Gimenez received the award for the Dominican Summer League Mets II.
STERLING ORGANIZATIONAL CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR: BRANDON NIMMO (OF)
Nimmo was second in the Pacific Coast League with a .352 (138-392) batting average, one point behind teammate T.J. Rivera. Nimmo led the PCL with a .423 on-base percentage and was fourth with a .541 slugging percentage. He hit 25 doubles, eight triples, 11 homers with 46 walks and 73 strikeouts in 97 games with Las Vegas. Nimmo made his major league debut on June 26 at Atlanta. He hit his first major league homer and had three RBI at Citi Field vs. the Cubs on June 30.
STERLING ORGANIZATIONAL CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR: AMED ROSARIO (SS)
Rosario hit .324 (155-479) with 24 doubles, 13 triples, five home runs, 71 RBI, 19 stolen base and a .374 on-base percentage in 120 combined games between St. Lucie (A) and Binghamton (AA). Rosario participated in the Futures Game in San Diego during All-Star weekend. He was a mid-season FSL All-Star and was voted the Most Exciting Player in the Florida State League by Baseball America. Rosario hit a walk-off homer in his first game of the 2016 season. He was promoted to Binghamton on June 23 and hit .341 (73-214) with the BMets.
STERLING ORGANIZATIONAL PITCHER OF THE YEAR: LHP P.J. CONLON
Conlon combined to go 12-2 with a 1.65 ERA (26 earned runs/142.0 innings) in 24 games, 23 starts combined between Columbia (A) and St. Lucie (A). He was an All-Star with Columbia. Conlon led all Mets minor leaguers with a 1.65 ERA and was tied for second with 12 wins. A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, he had 112 strikeouts and 24 walks in 165.0 innings. Conlon became the first minor league pitcher in 11 years to pitch 10.0 innings when he used 97 pitches to do so on June 4 vs. Hagerstown. He did not allow a run over his final 20.2 innings of the regular season. Conlon was voted as having the best change-up in the SAL by Baseball America.
2016 STERLING AWARDS LAS VEGAS (AAA) OF THE PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE: T.J. RIVERA (INF)
Rivera won the Pacific Coast League batting title on the final day, finishing with a .353 (143-405) mark. Rivera was third in the PCL with a .393 on-base percentage, tied for sixth with 85 RBI and tied for eighth with 31 doubles. He was a mid-season All-Star with Las Vegas and named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Month for May. Rivera hit his first major league home run on September 13 in the 10th inning at Washington and had a career-high three RBI to help beat the Nationals.
BINGHAMTON (AA) OF THE EASTERN LEAGUE: DOMINIC SMITH (1B)
Smith was third in the Eastern League with 91 RBI and was also third with 146 hits. Smith played in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend in San Diego. He hit .302 (146-484), with 29 doubles (eighth in the EL) and a career-high 14 home runs. Smith was tied for ninth in the EL with a .367 on-base percentage. His 91 RBI was the second-most in the organization behind Thompson.
BINGHAMTON (AA) OF THE EASTERN LEAGUE: PHILLIP EVANS (INF)
Evans won the Eastern League batting crown, hitting .335 (121-361) with 30 doubles (tied for fifth in the EL), eight homers and 39 RBI in 96 games. He was twice named the Eastern League Player of the Week. Evans had a .374 on-base percentage with the BMets, which was tied for the sixth-highest mark in the EL.
ST. LUCIE (A) OF THE FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE: TOMAS NIDO (C)
Nido won the Florida State League batting title, hitting .320 (110-344), including seven hits in in his final 10 at-bats. He was named to the mid-season and postseason FSL All-Star teams. Nido added 23 doubles, seven home runs and 46 RBI in 90 games to lead them to the playoffs. He will play in the Arizona Fall League.
COLUMBIA (A) OF THE SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE: DAVID THOMPSON (3B)
Thompson was named to the SAL mid-season All-Star team. He led the league in RBI (58) when he was promoted to St. Lucie. Thompson hit .280 (121-432) with 34 doubles, 11 home runs and 95 RBI in 116 games between Columbia (A) and St. Lucie (A). He led the organization with 95 RBI, and finished the year with a .444 slugging percentage.
BROOKYLN (A) OF THE NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE: DESMOND LINDSAY (OF)
Lindsay reached base in 30 of 32 games with the Cyclones and led the team with a .418 on-base percentage. He hit .297 (33-111) with 18 runs scored, five doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI. He tied a Cyclones record with seven RBI on August 12 vs. West Virginia. Lindsay hit .368 (14-38) vs. lefties and hit four homers at MCU Park, the most by a player since 2012.
KINGSPORT (R) OF THE APPLACHIAN LEAGUE: LHP THOMAS SZAPUCKI
Posted a 1.38 ERA (eight earned runs/52.0 innings) in nine starts between Kingsport and Brooklyn. He struck out 86 batters in 52.0 innings and allowed just 26 hits. Szapucki grew up in Toms River, NJ. He had a 0.62 ERA and 47 strikeouts to lead the Appalachian League in both categories before he was promoted to Brooklyn. Szapucki struck out 13 on June 23 vs. Elizabethton, averaged a whopping 14.88 strikeouts per nine innings and allowed two runs or less in eight of his nine starts.
GULF COAST LEAGUE (R): CARLOS SANCHEZ (C)
Sanchez batted .317 (45-142) with eight doubles, two triples, two homers and 16 RBI in 38 games. He finished with a .382 on-base percentage.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE #1 (R): RAUL BERACIERTA (OF)
Beracierta hit .327 (69-211) with seven doubles, three triples, one home run, 23 RBI and eight stolen bases in 62 games. He finished with a .397 on-base percentage.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE #2 (R): ANDRES GIMENEZ (SS)
Gimenez was second in the Dominican Summer League with a .350 (75-214) batting average. He was named the Dominican Summer League All-Star team. He led the DSL with a .469 on-base percentage. Gimenez was second in the league with 20 doubles, fourth with 52 runs scored, added four triples, three home runs, 38 RBI and 13 stolen bases.