The New York Mets honored their top prospects last night at Citi Field. Mets players from all different developmental levels in their careers were honored with the 2016 Sterling Awards.
Both T.J. Rivera and Brandon Nimmo did not have to travel far in order to accept their awards. Both players received September call-ups and found themselves ready to accept in Flushing.
Other players honored before the game were first baseman Dominic Smith and infielder Phillip Evans were co-winners for 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.
Both Nimmo and shortstop Amed Rosario were named Sterling Minor League Organizational Co-Players of the Year.
The recipients of the 2016 Sterling Awards are the most valuable assets to the Mets farm system. Players like Rosario understand their value and expressed how hard they have been working to improve as players.
Rosario did not find the transition from St. Lucie (A) to Binghamton (AA) to be a difficult one to adjust to, “I would say there was no difference I went out there, gave 100% of myself like I always do.” 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).
Even for players like Smith, who may have found the adjustment from St. Lucie to Binghamton as a challenge due to climate changes, managed to find offensive success in 2016. Smith hit .302 (146-484), with 29 doubles (eighth in the EL) and career-high 14 home runs. “I really try to focus on learning how to hit, learning my body, learning my swing, improving my eye, not chasing too many pitches, and only swinging at pitches I can do damage with,” Smith said.
The recipients of the 2016 Sterling Awards also spent their day helping to make sandwiches to help feed the hungry at New York Common Pantry.