[audio:http://www.torontoobserver.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Alexis_Webster_Podcast.mp3|titles=Alexis_Webster_Podcast]If J.P. Arencibia didn’t have enough to put on his wall after the season he’s had in the Blue Jays organization, he’ll have to make room for another.
The Jays announced their 2010 Webster Award winners on Wednesday, recognizing the most valuable players from each of the team’s minor league affiliates. Arencibia grabbed the prize for Toronto’s Triple-A team, after an outstanding season in the Pacific Coast League.
The 24-year-old catcher was also named MVP of the PCL, and was a mid-season and year-end all-star selection after hitting .301 with 32 home runs and 85 RBIs for the Las Vegas 51s.
His strong performance on the farm earn him a spot on the big league club in early August when Toronto catcher John Buck suffered a hand injury.
Arencibia made history in his debut, becoming the first player in baseball’s modern era to have four hits and two home runs in his debut, with his first homer coming on the first pitch he saw against Tampa Bay.
He also became the fifth player in major league history to hit two homers in his first game.
Outfielder Eric Thames took home the award for Toronto’s Double-A affiliate, after leading all of the Jays’ minor league organizations with 104 RBIs.
He was named an Eastern League mid-season and post-season all-star, representing the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Mike McDade, first basemen for the Dunedin Blue Jays, claims the honour for Toronto’s Class-A team. McDade led the Florida State League in home runs (21), and was second in total bases (215), and fourth in slugging percentage (.448).
The 21-year-old also led his team in home runs, RBIs (64), total bases, hits (128) and runs scored (60). Over his past two seasons, McDade has launched 37 long balls.
Infielder Sean Ochinko was named MVP for Toronto’s Low-A team, the Lansing Lugnuts. The award is his second consecutive Webster, his first coming with Auburn last season. The 22-year-old batted .311 with eight home runs and 65 RBIs this season, leading his team in average and doubles (37).
Carlos Perez becomes only the fourth player in Blue Jays history to win the award three times, joining Carlos Delgado, Luis Lopez and Adam Lind after being recognized this season with the Auburn Doubledays.
Perez won the award in 2009 in the Gulf Coast League, and again in 2008 in the Dominican Summer League. The 19-year-old Venezuelan led the Doubledays in average (.298), on-base percentage (.396) and RBIs (41).
The Gulf Coast Blue Jays honoured outfielder Jacob Marisnick. He hit .253 with four home runs and 26 RBI between the Gulf Coast and the Lansing Lugnuts. Marisnick was selected in the third round of the 2009 draft.
Right-handed pitcher Eyerys Guerrero was recognized by the Dominican Summer League after going 1-2 with a 3.23 ERA in 39 innings. The 17-year-old walked only 1.4 batters per nine innings and started nine of the 13 games he appeared in.
Current Jays players who have previously received the award include Lind, Aaron Hill, David Purcey, Travis Snider, Brett Cecil and Marc Rzepczynski.