The New York Mets today announced that Ike Davis was named the Sterling Minor League Organizational Player of the Year while righthanded pitcher Jeurys Familia earned Sterling Pitcher of the Year honors.
Outfielder Jesus Feliciano was named the organization’s Sterling Award Winner for the Buffalo Bisons, emblematic of the Most Valuable Player on the team.
Feliciano, 30, was also awarded the Bisons Stan Barron Most Valuable Player after a stellar campaign in 2009. The outfielder led all International League hitters with 154 base hits, tied for the 5th highest single-season total in the Bisons modern era. Feliciano hit .311 (154-495)(5th highest in the IL) with 30 doubles, one home run and 42RBI in a team-high 130 games with the Bisons in 2009. He also led the club with 13 stolen bases and eight outfield assists.
In addition, the Mets announced the 2009 Sterling Awards, emblematic of the Most Valuable Player for each of their nine affiliates.
Catcher Josh Thole received the award for Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League, outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was honored at St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League, lefthanded pitcher Robert Carson captured the award for Savannah (A) of the South Atlantic League, lefthanded pitcher Mark Cohoon received the honor at Brooklyn (A) of the New York-Penn League, first baseman Jeff Flagg was the recipient for Kingsport (R) of the Appalachian League, outfielder Julio Concepcion was honored with the rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets, first baseman Alexander Sanchez captured the award for the Dominican Summer League and outfielder Andres Perez received the award for the Venezuelan Summer League.
The Buffalo Bisons open the 2010 season April 6 against the Scranton Yankees with the home opener slated for April 14 versus the Pawtucket Red Sox at 3:03 p.m.
The Bisons 2009 season came to a close on Monday afternoon as the Herd fell to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park, 3-0.
The loss was the Herd’s 87th defeat of the season, their highest total since a 55-89 campaign in 1994. The Bisons finished in last place in the International League North Division for the first time in their now their 12th season since rejoining the league. It’s only the sixth time in the modern era Buffalo has finished the year with a losing record.
Jesus Feliciano was given the well deserved day off after appearing in a team-high 130 games. Even without playing on Monday, the Bisons MVP will lead the entire International League with 154 hits unless Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s Austin Jackson (149) closes out league play on Monday night with a monster game.
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TODAY’S GAME: This afternoon, the Buffalo Bisons conclude the 2009 season with the final game of a five-game in four-day series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Coca-Cola Park (1:35 p.m.). The Bisons trail 1-3 so far in the series and are just 29-50 in divisional games this season.
vs. THE IRONPIGS: The Bisons are 6-9 against Lehigh Valley this season. The IronPigs victory last night ensured them the season series victory over the Herd. Buffalo is just 5-10 at Coca-Cola Park in the first two years of the rivalry. The Herd has never won a series in Lehigh Valley.
NOT SO PETTY: LHP Adam Pettyjohn gets the start in the final game of the season. The veteran has been solid since joining the Herd, going 3-4 with a 3.70ERA in his eight games and seven starts in Buffalo. He did fall in defeat his last time out, allowing six runs (four earned) on 10 hits in six innings of work to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on September 2. Pettyjohn is 2-2 with a 2.86ERA in five road starts for Buffalo this year.
MOST VALUABLE HITTER: Bisons team MVP OF Jesus Feliciano has all but sealed up the International League Hit Crown. Feliciano has posted two straight three-hit games, giving him 154 hits on the season. That’s five more than Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s OF Austin Jackson (149). Feliciano came on strong late as he enters today’s game on an eight-game hit streak (.452, 14-31). His 154 hits tie him with OF Kevin Young (1992) for the 5th most hits in a single season in the Bisons Modern Era.
OFF THE LEADERBOARD: RHP Nelson Figueroa will fall 2.2 innings shy of winning the International League ERA crown. Figgy posted a 2.25ERA in 17 starts for the Bisons, but has been with New York since August 3. IL pitchers are required to pitch in 0.8 innings per team game to qualify among the league leaders (143G x 0.8 = 114.2IP). Figueroa has only pitched 112.0 innings. This year, no Bisons pitcher will have a qualifying ERA.
TEAM LEADERS: OF Jesus Feliciano will end up as the team leader in virtually every offensive category. He tops the Herd in games (130), average (.311), doubles (30), stolen bases (13) and runs scored (57). INF Mike Lamb leads the team in extra-base hits (36) and RBI (53) while INF Nick Evans’ 10 homers are one more than OF Chip Ambres and C Rene Rivera.
ON THE MOUND: RHP Nelson Figueroa and RHP Tobi Stoner will finish the year tied for the team lead with seven wins. Stoner won his last four decisions. Figueroa’s 94 strikeouts will lead the team as will his 112.0 innings of work. RHP Elmer Dessens team-best 11 saves earned him a big league promotion this year. LHP Jon Switzer’s 41 appearances led the 2009 Bisons.
Sunday’s game seemed to be played with the enthusiasm you would expect from two teams way out of playoff contention on the last week of the regular season. Until the ninth inning that is.
The Bisons erased a one-run deficit in the ninth on a three-run home run from Jason Dubois to take a two- run lead. But Lehigh Valley answered in the bottom half on the inning as JJ Furmaniak’s walk-off, two-run single gave the IronPigs the 5-4 victory Sunday night at Coca-Cola Park.
Jesus Feliciano had three hits and increased his lead in the IL hit chase. The outfielder now has 154 hits on the season, six more than Scranton/WB’s Austin Jackson.