Who’s Your Thunder MVP?

As promised, my Thunder awards will be coming shortly.  I’ll be handing out imaginary hardware to those deserving of my MVP, Pitcher of the Year and Good Guy Awards.

This will be my third season of awards, as this is my third season as the Thunder beat writer.

But my mind can be changed…I’ll give you guys a few days to discuss who you think should be the Thunder MVP, and then I’ll post my choice for the award.

This was the sixth season of Thunder coverage by the Democrat — three from my predecessor Scott Stanchak and three from myself.  Here’s the history of the Democrat’s Thunder MVP award:

2003: Brian Myrow
2004: Mitch Jones
2005: Shelley Duncan
2006: Randy Ruiz
2007: Noah Hall

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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16 Responses to “Who’s Your Thunder MVP?”

  1. Peter Lacock Says:

    I’m partial to C’s because they have such a difficult and thankless job. P.J. Pilittere did a fine job handling the staff and had some clutch hits. Colin Curtis and Edwar Gonzalez should also get some consideration but Austin Jackson had a solid all around year and great post season. I can’t imagine where The Thunder would have been without him. AJax is a worthy MVP.

  2. Peter Lacock Says:

    I know you didn’t ask for an opinion on this Mike but as an aside:

    The Trenton pitching staff was really excellent from top to bottom and carried the team to a 2nd consecutive championship. Hopefully this can be parlayed into similar success at the highest level someday soon. Many came, made significant contributions and then moved on. Eric Hacker was great after the jump from Tampa and outstanding in the playoffs, Anthony Claggett led the bullpen, but Jason Jones was the ace of the staff and finished it off with 3 shutout innings to clinch the title. JJ has to be my choice for Pitcher of the Year.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    MVP: Jackson

    Unsung hero: Malec

    I know I made up another award, but I wanted to acknowledge Malec for being one of the most consistent and versatile players on the 2008 roster. He gets bonus points for always playing the game the right way.

  4. Steve Says:

    MVP: Cody Ehlers
    Pitcher of the Year: Phil Coke
    Good Guy: Kevin Russo (I don’t know if he was a “good guy,” but he went through a lot this season.)

  5. dan Says:

    Ehlers I assume is a joke.

    MVP has to be Jackson, Pitcher of the year is Coke. You’d know who deserves the Good Guy award better than anyone on the outside would.

  6. Peter Lacock Says:

    I got no problem with Phil Coke (or Chase Wright). He certainly had an outstanding season for Trenton. The thing that got me off him was, thru no fault of his own, that he wasn’t here the last month of the season and the playoffs.

  7. John Says:

    MVP: PJ Pilittere – He handled numerous pitchers throughout the season, came back from a broken nose, and hit in the clutch all year.

  8. Dave S. Says:

    I know we all discussed this weeks ago but here goes. I think everyone mentioned above “except Ehlers’ LOL are worthy of the Thunder MVP. My pick would also be P.J. Yes, he’s not the “flashy” player with high HR or RBI totals but what he brings to the table is what makes him my MVP. Besides handling the pitchers well and getting clutch hits, especially in the play-offs, his greatest attribute is being a leader. Anyone who studied the Thunder this year saw that he was the leader of that team. He’s the rah-rah guy in the dugout and the players feed off of that! It was the same with him at CSF and SI, both teams also won their Championship. So there is my choice, it might not be the most glamourous pick but PJ Pilittere is what , in my eyes, “MVP” is all about.

    -Dave Sistaro
    Staten Island

  9. putter Says:

    I agree With Dave and John watching him for two years he never look at his stat’s with runners on base he called the right pitch be it a slider,curve,changeup,not a fastball like Pudge does on ever pitch so the hitter knows whats coming 99% of the time that’s why pitchers don’t like throwing to Pudge and love throwing to PJ

  10. Steve Says:

    Um, wow. I accidentally wrote Cody Ehlers but meant CHRIS MALEC. D’oh.

  11. David Mac Says:

    I’d go with PJ. A catcher gets some credit when a pitching staff is that good, and he hit steadily all year. AJ is a close second….I also like the idea of an unsung hero award, and Chris Malec is a good choice…..what about the Tonto Award for Outstanding Thunder personality?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Yeah. I really think we need an unsung hero award…there are guys who fit this description on a lot of minor league teams. How bout it Mike? I didn’t mention this in my earlier post, but the main reason I chose Malec as the unsung hero is b/c he pretty much came out of nowhere and had a big impact despite not being as heralded as some others on the team. He was a guy who didn’t have a set role on opening day and only played in about half of the April games as a utility guy. And he went on to make the all star team and be a consistent, reliable player and the cleanup hitter in the playoffs. Pretty cool story when you think about it.

  13. Coke1 Says:

    Pitching : Gotta be Coke with an Honorable mention to Jason Jones
    MVP: PJ Pillitere
    Good guy: Chris Malec and thats only because you dont have 2 MVP’s

    Hats off to the entire team what a great season!!! Thanks

  14. tdevils Says:

    If I were to add an Unsung Hero Award — and that’s not at all a bad idea –I’m not sure Malec would get it. He was after all, an All-Star, so he certainly did get some recognition throughout the season.

    The kind of guy I would think would get an award like that would be a middle reliever or a fourth or fifth starter or a guy who didn’t get a lot of press or attention for one reason or another.

    Honestly, maybe someone like Edwar Gonzalez with his clutch hits and legitimate power would be worthy of the award…he was always the third guy you talked about when you thought about the outfield, but his numbers were as good as anybody’s.

    I’m looking at “announcing” the awards starting on Monday.

    As for Coke winning Pitcher of the Year — and he’d certainly be a candidate for the Good Guy Award as well — I’m not sure if he was necessarily there long enough. He certainly advanced his status in the organization more than anybody…but as a result, he got called up to Scranton and ultimately the Bronx in the second half.

    But it’s worth taking into consideration, certainly.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I could see where Edwar Gonzalez would be a good choice…and guys like Eric Hacker could probably enter the conversation as well….he never really seemed to get much press despite a very solid season.

    I think I’d still have to stick with Malec though, despite the fact that the fans voted him into the All-Star game. These awards definitely aren’t easy.

    Also, maybe you (or some other fans) could shed some light on this. I didn’t really get to know the 2008 players as well as I have in the past. I know Kevin Russo won the Fan Favorite award…could you shed some light on this. I was kind of surprised because he didn’t play in as many games as most of the other players.

    Was he just a nice guy? Good with autographs? I’m not knocking Kevin or saying he didn’t deserve to win…I’m just curious.

  16. thunderbaseball Says:

    I liked Kevin a lot and never had a problem with him…but I think that choice surprised a lot of people.

    Case in point, when I did the Thunder team-signed baseball giveaway (which you can still sign up for, by the way) and asked people to name their favorite player as well, I literally did not get a single person who named Russo as their favorite.

    But there were no bad guys on this team. A lot of times, when you hear the “we had a great group of guys” line, it’s BS. But at least in my opinion, that wasn’t the case with this group.

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