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September 14, 2018 at 8:00 AM

SoxProspects.com Awards: Offensive Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year

This week was SoxProspects.com award week: On Monday All-Star hitters were announced, Tuesday was dedicated to the All-Star pitchers; Wednesday we announced the Graduate of the Year, Homegrown Prospect of the Year and Ex-Prospect of the Year; and Thursday featured the Rookie of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year.

The biggest awards were saved for last. The SoxProspects.com Offensive Player of the Year goes to Bobby Dalbec and the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year is awarded to Denyi Reyes.

Offensive Player of the Year
It was a record-setting season for Dalbec, setting the single-season record for home runs (26) for High-A Salem since they became part of the Red Sox organization in 2009. That is all the more impressive seeing as he did not the entire season at the level. In his first full professional season after being taken in the 4th round in 2016, Dalbec was solid if unspectacular, which was not surprising seeing as he was converting to a full-time positional player after both pitching and playing third base for the University of Arizona. 

The 23-year-old was promoted to Salem to begin the 2018 season, and hit fairly well through June, hitting .227/.351/.486 with 15 home runs and 20 doubles over 251 at-bats but striking out 32% of the time. Starting in July he caught fire, and through August 1 he was hitting a scorching .333/.430/.806 with 11 home runs and 7 doubles while maintaining the high strikeout rate (29%). Having earned a promotion to Double-A Portland, Dalbec continued to hit for power adding 6 more home runs to go with a .514 slugging percentage. However, his swing and miss continued to hamper his production with his strikeout rate rising to 37% and his walk rate dropping to 4.8% resulting in a .261 average and a below average .323 OBP.

The power continues to amaze and resulted in the year having far more highs than lows. Overall, he finishes the year hitting .257/.361/.558 with 32 home runs, 35 doubles, 109 RBI, and 73 runs over 455 at-bats split between the two levels. Dalbec also took home SoxProspects.com All-Star honors, was chosen as the Carolina League Player of the Year. Finally, he started the year ranked 10th on the SoxProspects.com rankings and ends the year ranked 6th, just another indication of his growth this season.

Pitcher of the Year
He might not be the most well-known name in the Red Sox system, but all Denyi Reyes does is put up incredible pitching statistics. Among pitchers with at least than 80 innings, Reyes led by a mile in walks per nine innings at 1.10. The next closest was Angelis Martinez, almost a full walk behind, at 2.02. As a result, he also led the system in OBP against by 30 points, sitting at .241.

Still 21, Reyes pitched most of the year in Greenville, earning South Atlantic League pitcher of the year honors, and earned a cup of coffee in Salem, starting on August 4. With the Drive, he completely shoved, using an exceptional control and command profile to elevate average stuff. Reyes walked more than one batter five times in 21 appearances, with zero free passes on 12 occasions, including his first four starts and his final five outings for the Drive.

Through an impressive season, in which the Dominican Republic native had solid start after solid start, his crown jewel came on May 27 against the Columbia Fireflies. Reyes delivered a complete game, three-hit shutout, with eight strikeouts against zero walks. He faced three hitters over the minimum and outside of a two-out double, he did not allow a runner past first base. This start jump-started him to finish the year with 155 2/3 innings, second in the system, with a sparkling 1.97 ERA, which led the system by nearly a whole run over Jalen Beeks, and a 0.91 WHIP, which was tops as well. Reyes also led Beeks in OPS against by 80 points.

Photo Credit: Bobby Dalbec and Denyi Reyes by Kelly O'Connor.

Will Woodward is a Co-Owner and Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.