Posted by Mack Ade at 12:00 PM
Pascucci Named Team MVP, Schwinden is Most Valuable Pitcher, Hampson Takes Home Multiple Awards
September 1, 2011 -The Buffalo Bisons today announced that INF VALENTINO PASCUCCI has been named the team’s Stan Barron Most Valuable Player for the 2011 season. The Herd also named RHP CHRIS SCHWINDEN its Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher prior to Fan Appreciation Night on Thursday, September 1 against the Syracuse Chiefs LHP JUSTIN HAMPSON was awarded the Judge Michael Dillon Comeback Player of the Year as well as the Frank J. Vallone Community Service Award. C RAUL CHAVEZ was voted the Joe DeSa Most Inspirational Player Award by his Bisons teammates.
INF LUIS FIGUEROA was awarded the Jimmy Griffin “Hometown Hero” honor while the Joe Byron Fan of the Year Award was given to longtime season ticket holders, the GARY HILL FAMILY of Medina, NY. Stan Barron Most Valuable Player – Valentino PascucciNamed after Stan Barron, a legend in Buffalo broadcasting, this award is given to the player who demonstrates outstanding ability, good sportsmanship and dedication. Pascucci has been a force in the Bisons lineup all season long. With 21 home runs and 91RBI, the 32-year old is only the fourth player in the team’s modern era to reach the 20-90 plateau and the first since DH Ernie Young accomplished the feat in 2004. Pascucci’s 91RBI are already the sixth most in a single-season for a Bisons player and currently rank second for the most in the International League behind only Gwinnett’s Stefan Gartrell (92RBI). Pascucci has averaged .298 (37-124) while batting with runners in scoring position in 2011. Pascucci leads the Bisons with 21 home runs, 29 doubles, 51 extra-base hits, 57 runs scored, 73 walks (2nd in IL), a .373 on-base percentage and a .483 slugging percentage. He drove home a season-high six on May 10 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and hit two home runs on July 17 in Rochester. His walk-off two-run home run on August 18 gave the Bisons a 4-2 win over Toledo in 11 innings. Overall, Pascucci has hit .262 (111-424) in a team-high 124 games for Buffalo this season. Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher – Chris SchwindenEstablished in 2001, this award is presented to the Bisons’ pitcher who demonstrates outstanding ability, good sportsmanship and dedication throughout the course of the season.
RHP CHRIS SCHWINDEN began 2011 in the bullpen with Double-A Binghamton, but early-season injuries to the Bisons’ rotation gave the Triple-A rookie an opportunity in mid-April. Schwinden was promoted for a spot start on April 17 in Pawtucket and the righty seized the opportunity by firing a season-high nine strikeouts in a five-inning no-decision to cement his spot in the club’s rotation. The 24-year old spent the rest of the season with the Bisons, leading the club with 25 starts, a 3.95ERA and 129 strikeouts. Schwinden also leads the team with 141.1 innings of work and is tied with LHP Pat Misch with eight victories. Schwinden’s 129 strikeouts this season are the fourth most for a Bisons pitcher in the modern era and the 6th-highest total in the International League this season. He fanned six batters or more in 13 of his starts, including six consecutive outings, June 26 – August 1. A model of consistency, he has allowed more than four earned runs in a start only twice all season. Overall, Schwinden is 8-7 with a 3.95ERA with the Bisons this season. He earned his eighth win on Monday night against Rochester, his final home start of the season. Judge Michael Dillon Comeback Player of the Year – Justin HampsonThis award is named for the late Judge Michael F. Dillon, who was a three-time Erie County district attorney and served a 14-year term on the State Supreme Court. It recognizes an individual who overcomes injury, personal problems or a rough season and exemplifies the meaning of hard work and dedication.
LHP JUSTIN HAMPSON joined the Mets organization this winter after pitching 15 games between Long Island and York of the Independent Atlantic League in 2010. Assigned to the Bisons out of training camp, the southpaw has been one of the club’s top relievers all season long. Overall, Hampson is 3-3 with a 3.47ERA and one save for the Bisons. He ranks second on the staff with 51 appearances and leads all Herd relievers with eight holds and a 71% first-batter out proficiency. A workhorse in the bullpen, Hampson has stranded 21 of his 27 inherited runners this season (78% success rate). Hampson has proven especially tough against left-handed opponents this year, holding them to a .211 (20-95) average and only six extra-base hits. The veteran has also gotten tougher as the season has progressed, allowing an earned run in only four of his last 22 appearances. Frank J. “Fremo” Vallone Community Service Award – Justin HampsonThe Community Service Award is named for the late Frank J. Vallone, the Bisons good will ambassador and most celebrated fan who served as a host and ticket salesperson from 1987-1990. The award is presented annually to the player who best represents the club in community related activities, charitable and youth oriented activities.
LHP JUSTIN HAMPSON has combined his great work on the mound with an extremely positive attitude off the playing field. In his first season in Buffalo, NY, the Belleville, IL-native has been a great ambassador for the 2011 Bisons to the fans of Western New York. Always willing to help out, Hampson made his biggest impact as a mentor to the young baseball players of Western New York during the team’s annual youth baseball clinic. Along with his selection as the Judge Michael Dillon Comeback Player of the Year, Hampson becomes the ninth Bisons player to win multiple awards in one year in the modern era. The last Bisons player to win multiple awards was RHP Tim McNab, who was voted Most Inspirational Player as well as earning and the Community Service award in 2009.