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Tanaka named top rookie in Yankees camp

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 29, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Masuhiro Tanaka

The writers actually voted for this year’s Dawson Award even before Masahiro Tanaka struck out 10 last night (if he hadn’t already won, I suspect we might have re-voted in the wake of that performance). It was basically a race between Tanaka and Yangervis Solarte, with Zoilo Almonte, Adonis Garcia and Dellin Betances also deserving some consideration. The history of the Dawson Award is kind of a mixed bag — some future elite players, some guys who never made the big leagues — but Tanaka seems like a strong choice, if only because of the way he handled himself this spring. There’s also the fact he pitched to a 2.14 ERA with 26 strikeouts and only three walks. Here’s the official Dawson announcement from the Yankees, along with a list of all the past winners.

Joe Girardi, Masahiro TanakaThe New York Yankees today announced that right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is the recipient of the 2014 James P. Dawson Award, given annually to the outstanding Yankees rookie in spring training. Tanaka received the award in a pre-game ceremony today, prior to the Yankees’ 1:05 p.m. game vs. the Marlins at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Tanaka, 25, went 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA (21.0IP, 5ER) in five appearances (three starts) this spring and led the team with 26 strikeouts, while walking only three batters (15H). In 2013, he went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA (212.0IP, 30ER, 183K) in 28 appearances (27 starts) with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan. Tanaka was signed by the Yankees via the posting system from the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan and signed a seven-year contact on January 22, 2014.

The award was established in honor of James P. Dawson (1896-1953), who began a 45-year career with The New York Times as a copy boy in 1908. Eight years later, he became boxing editor and covered boxing and baseball until his death during spring training in 1953.

Two winners of the honor, Tony Kubek in 1957 and Tom Tresh in 1962, went on to win the American League “Rookie of the Year” Award. The award first was presented to rookie Norm Siebern by Manager Casey Stengel in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the conclusion of spring training in 1956. New York Yankees beat writers vote on the winner.

In conjunction with the award, Tanaka will receive a watch from Betteridge Jewelers.

James P. Dawson Award winners:

· 1956…Norm Siebern OF
· 1957…Tony Kubek SS
· 1958…John Blanchard C
· 1959…Gordon Windhorn OF
· 1960… John James P
· 1961…Rollie Sheldon P
· 1962…Tom Tresh SS
· 1963…Pedro Gonzalez 2B
· 1964…Pete Mikkelsen P
· 1965…Arturo Lopez OF
· 1966…Roy White OF
· 1967…Bill Robinson OF
· 1968…Mike Ferraro 3B
· 1969…Jerry Kenney OF/ Bill Burbach P
· 1970…John Ellis 1B/C
· 1971…None Selected
· 1972…Rusty Torres OF
· 1973…Otto Velez OF
· 1974…Tom Buskey P
· 1975…Tippy Martinez P
· 1976…Willie Randolph 2B
· 1977…George Zeber INF
· 1978…Jim Beattie P
· 1979…Paul Mirabella P
· 1980…Mike Griffin P
· 1981…Gene Nelson P
· 1982…Andre Robertson SS
· 1983…Don Mattingly 1B
· 1984…Jose Rijo P
· 1985…Scott Bradley C
· 1986…Bob Tewksbury P
· 1987…Keith Hughes OF
· 1988…Al Leiter P
· 1989…None Selected
· 1990…Alan Mills P
· 1991…Hensley Meulens OF
· 1992…Gerald Williams OF
· 1993…Mike Humphreys OF
· 1994…Sterling Hitchcock P
· 1995…None Selected
· 1996…Mark Hutton P
· 1997…Jorge Posada C
· 1998…Homer Bush INF
· 1999…None Selected
· 2000…None Selected
· 2001…Alfonso Soriano 2B
· 2002…Nick Johnson 1B
· 2003…Hideki Matsui OF
· 2004…Bubba Crosby OF
· 2005…Andy Phillips INF
· 2006…Eric Duncan INF
· 2007…Kei Igawa P
· 2008…Shelley Duncan INF/OF
· 2009…Brett Gardner OF
· 2010…Jon Weber OF
· 2011…Manny Banuelos P
· 2012…David Phelps P
· 2013…Vidal Nuno P
· 2014…Masahiro Tanaka P

Associated Press photos

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