The Minnesota Twins announced today that outfielder Zach Granite has been named the 2016 Sherry Robertson Award winner as the Twins Minor League Player of the Year and left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves has been named the 2016 Jim Rantz Award winner as the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Granite, 24, spent the entire season at Double-A Chattanooga, hitting .295 (155-for-526) with 18 doubles, eight triples, four home runs, 52 RBI, 86 runs scored and 56 stolen bases in 127 games.He ranked tied for first in minor league baseball in stolen bases and was most recently named Southern League Postseason All-Star.
The Staten Island, New York native was drafted by the Twins in the 14th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Seton Hall University.In four minor league seasons, he has hit .282 (369-for-1309) with 39 doubles, 20 triples, 109 RBI and 102 stolen bases in 337 games.
Gonsalves, 22, began the season at Single-A Ft.
Myers, going 5-4 with a 2.33 ERA (65.2 IP, 17 ER), 20 walks and 66 strikeouts.He was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga in early June and went 8-1 with a 1.82 ERA (74.1 IP, 15 ER), 37 walks and 89 strikeouts.He earned Southern League Pitcher of the Week in late August, was named to Florida State League Midseason All-Star team and most recently was named one of MLBPipeline.com’s Twins Prospects of the Year.
The San Diego, California native was selected by the Twins in the fourth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Cathedral Catholic High School. He becomes just the third left-handed pitcher to win the Jim Rantz Award since it was created in 2002, joining Francisco Liriano (2005) and Andrew Albers (2013).
The Sherry Robertson Award, named in honor of the Twins first farm director, was established in 1970 to recognize the Twins top minor league performer each season.
Beginning in 2002, the award recognizes the Twins Minor League Player of the Year while an additional award was created to recognize the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year.This award was named in honor of former Twins Minor League Director and Twins Hall of Famer Jim Rantz.Past winners of the Sherry Robertson Award include: Butch Wynegar (1974), Kent Hrbek (1981), Gene Larkin (1986), Paul Sorrento (1989), Denny Neagle (1990), Marty Cordova (1992), LaTroy Hawkins (1993 and ’94), Todd Walker (1996), David Ortiz (1997), Doug Mientkiewicz (1998), Michael Cuddyer (2001), Joe Mauer (2003), Jason Kubel (2004), Brian Dozier (2011), Byron Buxton (2013), Kennys Vargas (2014) and Max Kepler (2015), while Jesse Crain (2003), Scott Baker (2004), Francisco Liriano (2005), Matt Garza (2006), Kyle Gibson (2010) and Jose Berrios (2014 and ’15) have won the Jim Rantz Award.
Granite and Gonsalves, along with the other Twins 2016 award winners, will be recognized at the 12th Annual Diamond Awards dinner, which will be held on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at Target Field.