The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the recipients of the 2016 Robin Yount Performance Awards, presented annually to the organization’s top minor league performers. Right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff was named Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and infielder Isan Diaz was named Brewers Minor League Player of the Year. Woodruff began the season with Class-A Brevard County and finished with Double-A Biloxi. Diaz spent the entire year with Class-A Wisconsin.
"Brandon and Isan have made significant strides this season which resulted in outstanding results on the field, and we’re very pleased to recognize their hard work with this honor," said Brewers Farm Director Tom Flanagan. "Their success is not only a credit to their efforts and dedication, but to the coaches and peers who helped them along the way. We congratulate both Brandon and Isan and look forward to their continued growth and development."
Woodruff went 14-9 with a 2.68 ERA (158ip, 47er) in 28 starts combined between Class-A Brevard County of the Florida State League and Double-A Biloxi of the Southern League. The 23-year-old struck out 173 batters, which not only led the Brewers farm system, but all of Minor League Baseball. Joining the Shuckers on May 16, Woodruff led the Southern League in WHIP (1.04), opposing batting average (.211), highest strikeout rate per nine innings pitched (9.82), fewest base runners per nine innings pitched (9.66) and was among the leaders in ERA (3rd, 3.01) and strikeouts (4th, 124). He led the organization in starts and innings pitched, which were career-highs as well.
The Brewers 11th-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Mississippi State University, Woodruff was a midseason All-Star in the Florida State League and was named Southern League Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks during the 2016 season (July 11-17 and July 18-24). In addition, Woodruff was awarded Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors after going 3-1 with a 0.29 ERA (30.2ip, 1er), 5 walks and 42 strikeouts in July. Woodruff was signed by scout Scott Nichols.
Diaz finished his first season in the Brewers organization batting .264/.358/.469 with 34 doubles, 5 triples, 20 home runs, 75 RBI, 72 walks and 11 steals. The 20-year-old led the organization in games (135), doubles, home runs, and RBI and was second in hits (134) and walks. Diaz hit .232/.309/.370 in 67 games in the first half, before batting .296/.404/.569 in the second half. He led the Midwest League in games, home runs, extra-base hits (59), total bases (238) and was among the leaders in walks (2nd), slugging percentage (4th) and RBI (T4th). The middle-infielder set new career-highs in almost every hitting category.
The 20-year-old Diaz was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks along with RHP Chase Anderson and INF Aaron Hill in exchange for SS Jean Segura and RHP Tyler Wagner on January 30. He was named a midseason and postseason Midwest League All-Star at shortstop and was honored with the League’s Player of the Week award for July 18-24. In addition, Diaz was selected as the Brewers June Minor League Player of the Month after batting .316/.393/.579 with 14 runs, 10 doubles, 5 homers, 20 RBI, 14 walks and 3 steals in that span. Diaz was signed by scout Mike Serbalik of the Diamondbacks, who has since joined the Brewers organization.
The Brewers farm system was recently named the top-ranked system among all 30 Major League clubs by Jim Callis of MLB.com.