MINNEAPOLIS Michael Cuddyer was the most consistent player for the Minnesota Twins this season. As a result, the right fielder received the award for the Most Valuable Twin as the seventh annual Diamond Awards were announced Monday.
Cuddyer, 32, hit .284 with 70 RBIs and a team-high 20 home runs while playing in 139 games. He and third baseman Danny Valencia were the only two regular position players to avoid the disabled list in an injury-plagued 2011 season for the Twins.
Cuddyer's versatility was vital for Minnesota as well, as he was able to move to the infield to play both first and second base. He also pitched a scoreless inning of relief in a game against Texas.
On top of being named Most Valuable Twin, Cuddyer also took home the Bob Allison Award for the player that "exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership, both on and off the field." It was the third year in a row Cuddyer won that award. He was given the Mike Augustin Award, which is given to the Twins player who "fosters healthy relations with the media." As a veteran in the clubhouse, Cuddyer was almost always found in his corner locker after games, win or lose, to talk to reporters.
Left-hander Glen Perkins was named both the Twins Pitcher of the Year and the Most Improved Twin. Perkins, 28, was Minnesota's most steady option out of the bullpen. The Stillwater, Minn., native struck out 65 batters and walked 21 in 61 23 innings. After posting a 5.82 ERA in just 13 games last season, Perkins had a 2.48 ERA in 65 appearances in 2011.
Outfielder Ben Revere, who played in 117 games this year, won the Bill Boni Award as the Twins' Most Outstanding Rookie. The 23-year-old speedster hit .267 with 30 RBIs, nine doubles, five triples and set a Twins rookie record with 34 stolen bases.
Tampa Bay Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson, a Des Moines, Iowa, native, received the Dick Siebert Award as the Upper Midwest Player of the Year. The 24-year-old right-hander was 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA and 117 strikeouts as a rookie for the Rays this season.
Other awards include the Twins' Minor League Player of the Year, which went to Brian Dozier; Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year, awarded to Liam Hendriks; and the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award, given to Twins starter Carl Pavano. Additionally, broadcaster John Gordon who retired after the 2011 season following a 25-year radio career will receive the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award.
The seventh annual Diamond Awards will take place Jan. 26 at Target Field. Proceeds from the event will benefit brain, nerve and muscle disorder research at the University of Minnesota.