On Friday night, before the Yankees took on the Pittsburgh Pirates, the organization announced the recipients of the Kevin Lawn Award. This award is given to the best minor league hitter and pitcher of the previous year. This year’s honorees were right-handed pitcher Shane Greene and first baseman Greg Bird. The award is given in memory of Kevin Lawn, the son of former Yankees’ vice president Jack Lawn. Kevin unfortunately passed away back in 1999.
Bird was drafted in the fifth round in 2011 and has progressed in his career to become the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ farm system, according to Baseball America. He hit 20 home runs and drove in 84 runs in 130 games last season with the Charleston River Dogs. However, he is not only a slugger. He also has great plate discipline, which is signified by the 107 walks that he had last season to go with a .428 on-base percentage.
On the pitching side, Shane Greene spent his season last year in both Tampa and Trenton, but still put up some solid numbers. He was the top pitcher in the system for both innings pitched and wins and was third in strikeouts with 137. Greene played in four games this spring with the big club. He had seven strikeouts and put up a 3.18 ERA.
Notable Yankees who have received this award in the past include Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Brett Gardner.