Shoemaker named Minors Pitcher of Year
Calhoun, Navarro, Boykin also take home Angels honors
ANAHEIM -- Matt Shoemaker doesn't throw as hard as Garrett Richards or with as much movement as Tyler Chatwood or Trevor Reckling, fellow young pitchers in the Angels' system who are aspiring to find roles in the big league rotation.
What Shoemaker does, however, is throw strikes -- and rack up outs. He might not light up radar guns or scouts' eyes, but he gets the job done, and there's always something to be said for that.
"He's not overpowering, but he's got good command," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of the 25-year-old right-hander from Michigan. "He has good complementary stuff to go with his [low 90s] fastball and has a nice feel for what he's doing out there. He's impressive. Matt is moving up on our depth chart."
Shoemaker is the Angels' choice as the 2011 Howie Gershberg Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Shoemaker spent most of his fourth season in the farm system with Double-A Arkansas, where he was named Texas League Pitcher of the Year after going 12-5 with a 2.48 ERA in 23 starts. He had five complete games and two shutouts, and his 1.07 WHIP was the best at the Double-A level.
Promoted to Triple-A Salt Lake, he made four starts with the Bees. Shoemaker was also among the 24 Minor League players named to the U.S. national team for this fall's World Cup and Pan American Games. He was signed by Joel Murrie out of Eastern Michigan University in 2008 as a free agent.
Fellow Angels' 2011 Minor League award winners included outfielder Kole Calhoun, first baseman Efren Navarro and manager Ty Boykin.
Calhoun is the Kenny Myers Memorial Minor League Player of the Year. Calhoun, 23, played his second season in the Angels' system in 2011 after being taken in the eighth round of the 2010 Draft out of Arizona State. At Class A Inland Empire, he batted .324 with 22 homers and 99 RBIs. He stole 20 bases and scored 94 runs, along with 36 doubles and six triples in 133 games.
Batting left-handed, a plus in an organization loaded with right-handed bats, Calhoun ranked third in the California League with 280 total bases. He was sixth in batting average, fourth in hits, tied for sixth in home runs and fifth in RBIs. His OPS of .957 ranked third.
A September callup after a stellar season at Salt Lake, Navarro, 25, is the club's Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner for defensive excellence.
A 50th-round Draft pick in 2007 out of Nevada Las Vegas, the Lynwood, Calif., native flashed his leather and his disciplined plate approach in a late look by Scioscia and the Angels' staff.
Navarro committed only three errors in 1,357 total chances and led all Pacific Coast League first basemen in fielding percentage.
Navarro had a solid season offensively for Salt Lake, batting .317 with an OPS of .856. He had 12 homers, 73 RBIs and 36 doubles. He was 2-for-10 in an Angels uniform.
Boykin was presented the Preston Gomez Minor League Manager of the Year award for guiding the Tempe Angels to a second-place finish in the East Division of the Arizona Rookie League. This was his 11th season as a manager in the Angels' system and his 20th season in the organization.
Boykin has been the Tempe manager since 2007, putting together a record of 162-117. He previously managed in the farm system at Arkansas, Rancho Cucamonga and Cedar Rapids.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.