This weekend, the Minnesota Twins named their Minor League Player of the Year and Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The Minor League Player of the Year award is named the Sherry Robertson Award for the Twins’ first farm director while the Pitcher of the Year award is named the Jim Rantz, former Twins Minor League Director and also Twins Hall-of-Fame inductee.
This year’s 2019 Sherry Robertson Award winner was outfielder Trevor Larnach. Larnach was selected by Minnesota with pick number 20 in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft after not signing with the San Diego Padres after being selected in the 40th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He opted to go to college at Oregon State University and played baseball for the Beavers. This year, the corner outfielder played in 127 games between Class-A Advanced Fort Myers, where he batted .316/.382/.459 (.842) with six homers and 44 RBI, and Class-AA Pensacola, where he batted .295/.387/.455 (.842) with seven homers and 22 RBI. Between the two teams, he put a .981 fielding percentage with four assists, two double-plays, and three errors. Larnach adds this award to his résumé as he was named to the Florida State League’s All-Star Team twice - at mid-season and post-season.
Larnach joins some elite names who have previously won the award, including Kent Hrbek, LaTroy Hawkins, Todd Walker, David Ortiz, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, and Mitch Garver.
The winner of the 2019 Jim Rantz Award is the one and only Randy Dobnak. Dobnak, undrafted after finishing college in the spring of 2017, signed with the Utica Unicorns of independent United Shore Professional Baseball League. He then signed with the Minnesota Twins system in August, playing for Rookie-level Elizabethton and Class-A Cedar Rapids. This season, Dobstache started in Class-A Advanced Fort Myers and quickly worked his way up through the farm system to make his major-league debut on August 9, about two full years after his signing with the Twins. Between the three farm teams he played for this year, he posted a 2.07 ERA across 135 innings in 24 games (21 starts) with a WHIP of 0.978. In the majors, Dobnak has posted a 1.59 ERA (2.90 FIP) in 28.1 innings over nine appearances (five starts). He likes to work with runners on base with a WHIP of 1.129, but only walking five batters against 23 strikeouts. Dobnak will be relied on in the Twins’ postseason, and to add to the amazing story, he got married this past weekend.
Dobnak joins a list of recipients who also received this award that includes Jesse Crain, Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, and last year’s winner, Lewis Thorpe.
Congratulations to Trevor Larnach and Randy Dobnak on their spectacular seasons!