Fargo's Pierce, Milwaukee's Solano take home second Cy Young Awards
For the second time in The Bigs history, a major award has been split between teammates. Nashville Sounds' Gregg Black and King Winn each tallied 12 votes to take home the season 4 American League MVP it was announced earlier today. For Black, the AL MVP is his third and second straight while the award is a first for the three time All-Star Winn. Black hit .342/.461/.701 this season with 49 homeruns, 146 RBI and 117 BB while Winn hit .316/.372/.669 with 62 HR and 182 RBI. The only other time a major award has been split between two players happened when Salem pitchers Dave Dunwoody and Dwight Salmon shared the NL Cy Young Award in season 1.
In the National League the Atlanta Bandits' Matty Matos took home MVP honors by receiving 17 of the 32 possible votes. Matos, not even voted into this season's All-Star Game, overcame a slow start to the season by finishing with a line of .315/.377/.618 with 45 homeruns and 145 RBI. San Juan's Osvaldo Johnson finished second in the NL MVP voting with 9 votes.
It was a couple of familiar faces in familiar uniforms claiming the Cy Young hardware in season 4. Milwaukee's Vin Solano captured his second AL Cy Young Award by receiving 18 votes while the Fargo Dirtbags' Sammy Pierce ran away with his second straight Cy Young Award with a final tally of 21 votes. The 34-year-old Solano went 19-2 with a 2.20 ERA in 184 IP this season to help Milwaukee to a major league best 103 wins. His other Cy Young Award came in season 2.
Pierce had an incredible season, posting a 22-5 record with a 2.02 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 238 strikeouts in 249 IP to help Fargo secure a two seed in the playoffs and a third straight division title. His 2.02 ERA is the second best single season ERA of all-time behind teammate Javier Henriquez's ridiculous 1.79 ERA in season 2. Pierce's 0.95 WHIP ties him for the second best single season WHIP with Henriquez and Dwight Salmon. Milwaukee and Fargo, respectively, are now home to each of the last three AL and NL Cy Young Awards.
Other AL awards included Louisville's Hipolito Maradona edging Monterrey's Jocko Keats by one vote for AL Rookie of the Year. Maradona went 15-5 in his rookie season with a 2.91 ERA in 30 starts for the Legends. Las Vegas Gamblers' closer Dave Stewart won the AL Fireman of the Year Award by notching 47 saves in 51 chances with a 1.73 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 62.1 IP.
In the National League it was Chicago Snake Tamer Trever Russell winning the NL ROY Award. Russell hit .286/.356/.585 with 48 homeruns and 124 RBI to win the award. Norfolk Destroyers' closer Ariel Lee took home the NL Fireman of the Year Award after posting 44 saves in 50 chances with a 3.11 ERA.