Cubs trio tabbed for 2011 year-end honors

Cubs trio tabbed for 2011 year-end honors

Cubs trio tabbed for 2011 year-end honors
CHICAGO -- Aramis Ramirez, who posted his sixth season with at least 30 doubles and 25 homers, was named the Cubs Performer of the Year, as selected by MLB.com

Matt Garza was named the Cubs' Pitcher of the Year and Starlin Castro the Breakout Player of the Year.

Ramirez, 33, finished seventh in the National League with a .306 average, and his 173 hits and 288 total bases both ranked 10th in the NL. A free agent after nine seasons with the Cubs, he bounced back from a slow start in which he hit only two home runs in the first two months of the season.

He joins Sammy Sosa, Billy Williams, Ernie Banks and Ron Santo as the fifth player with at least seven 25 homer seasons for the Cubs.

Ramirez was named the NL Player of the Week from June 27-July 3, hitting .393 with six homers and 10 RBIs in eight games. He hit .332 at home, fourth best in the league. The third baseman didn't wait long in his at-bats. He led the Majors with 12 home runs on the first pitch of an at-bat, and overall, hit .382 on the first pitch.

Ramirez also reached the 300 homer mark on July 1, connecting against Edwin Jackson in an Interleague game against the White Sox.

Ramirez did win his first Silver Slugger Award this season. He is the first Cubs' Silver Slugger winner since pitcher Carlos Zambrano won his third such award in 2009, and the first non-pitcher to win since catcher Michael Barrett and first baseman Derrek Lee both won in '05.

In Garza's first season with the Cubs, he went 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA and a team-leading 197 strikeouts in 31 starts. It was his third 10-win season.

Acquired from the Rays in a seven-player deal in January, Garza threw two complete games, including a 1-0 loss to the White Sox on July 2, and a 7-1 win Sept. 21 against the Brewers.

His 8.95 strikeouts per nine innings pitched ranked seventh in the NL and 10th among Major League pitchers. He didn't get much run support as the Cubs scored 3.2 per game while he was in the game. Garza, who is arbitration eligible, turns 28 on Nov. 26. He finished tied with Ryan Dempster for the team lead in wins.

Castro, 21, had a stellar season in his first full year in the big leagues. The shortstop led the National League in hits with 207 and was named to his first All-Star team. He is the youngest player to lead the NL in hits and the youngest in franchise history to reach 200 hits.

Castro also was the youngest All-Star in Cubs history. He stole two bases in the July 12 All-Star Game.

On Nov. 22, he was the only Cubs player to receive any votes in the National League Most Valuable Player balloting, announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He received one 10th-place vote.

This season, Castro compiled five hitting streaks of at least 10 games, the first Cubs player to do so in a single season since Williams in 1970. Castro reached base safely in 40 straight games to end the season, breaking the team's 82-year record for a shortstop.

It wasn't a perfect season for Castro, who committed 29 errors, second highest in the Majors behind the Orioles' Mark Reynolds.

Castro finished with a .307 average and also led the league in at-bats (674).

Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney, who led Major League rookies with 47 multi-hit games, received two third-place votes in the BBWAA balloting for National League Rookie of the Year. Barney was named NL Rookie of the Month in April after batting .326 with 15 runs, four doubles, two triples, one homer and 14 RBIs in 25 games.

Barney, 26, finished second on the Cubs in doubles, third in hits, fourth in runs scored and games played, and sixth in RBIs in his first season.

National Awards
MVP Cy Young Award ROY
Frank Schulte 1911 Fergie Jenkins 1971 Billy Williams 1961
Rogers Hornsby 1929 Bruce Sutter 1979 Ken Hubbs 1962
Gabby Hartnett 1935 Rick Sutcliffe 1984 Jerome Walton 1989
Phil Cavarretta 1945 Greg Maddux 1992 Kerry Wood 1998
Hank Sauer 1952 Geovany Soto 2008
Ernie Banks 1958-59
Ryne Sandberg 1984
Andre Dawson 1987
Sammy Sosa 1998
Manager of Year Rawlings Gold Gloves Silver Slugger
Jim Frey 1984 Ernie Banks 1960 Leon Durham 1982
Don Zimmer 1989 Ken Hubbs 1962 Ryne Sandberg 1984-85, 1988-92
Lou Piniella 2008 Ron Santo 1964-68 Andre Dawson 1987
Randy Hundley 1967 Sammy Sosa 1995, 1998-2002
Glenn Beckert 1968 Derrek Lee 2005
Don Kessinger 1969-70 Michael Barrett 2005
Ryne Sandberg 1983-91 Carlos Zambrano 2006, 2008-09
Bob Dernier 1984 Aramis Ramirez 2011
Jody Davis 1986
Andre Dawson 1987-88
Greg Maddux 1990-92, 2004-06
Mark Grace 1992-93, 1995-96
Derrek Lee 2005, 2007
Roberto Clemente Award This Year in Baseball
Rick Sutcliffe 1987 Mark Grace (Oddity) 2002
Sammy Sosa 1998 Ozzy Osbourne (Oddity) 2003
Mark Prior (Starting Pitcher) 2003
Dusty Baker (Manager) 2003

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.