The Mets announced the winners of their Sterling Award Winners for 2018, honoring the best players across their four Single-A and above affiliates. The winners:
- Player of the Year: 1B Peter Alonso
- Pitcher of the Year: RHP Justin Dunn
- Las Vegas (AAA) Sterling Award: RHP Drew Gagnon
- Binghamotn (AA) Sterling Award: INF Jeff McNeil
- St. Lucie (A+) Sterling Award: INF Andres Gimenez
- Columba (A) Sterling Award: LHP David Peterson
Starting from the top, Peter Alonso was the obvious choice. The 2016 2nd round pick led all of minor league baseball with 36 home runs and 119 RBI across two levels, ravaging both the Eastern League and, after a brief adjustment period, the Pacific Coast League. Alonso seems ready to take over the reigns at 1B - probably after the Super 2 deadline passes in 2019 - and should provide a powerful right handed bat at first for the foreseeable future.
Justin Dunn’s season wasn’t as remarkable as Alonso’s, but the results were solid. Despite a 4.22 ERA, Dunn registered an excellent 10.54 K/9 in 89.2 innings for Binghamton, running a 3.37 FIP. Scouting reports painted a less optimistic picture of Dunn this season, but his strong showing makes him look like a viable rotation or bullpen candidate in the near future.
Jeff McNeil was another very worthy recipient, as he dominated Double-A with a .327/.402/.626 slash line, before posting similar stats in a brief stop in Triple-A and ultimately reaching the majors. He’s emphatically stated his case for the starting second base job since then.
Rounding out the list, Andres Gimenez had a great year as one of the youngest players at both Advanced-A and Double-A this year, and has broken out as a potentially elite basestealer and plus shortstop. David Peterson was solid for St. Lucie, though you’d like to see more from a 23-year old first round pick out of college. Finally, Drew Gagnon is a non-prospect journeyman starter the Mets signed for depth this offseason. He did, however, pitch well in Triple-A and got to make his major league debut after toiling in the minors for seven seasons.