Following the final game at Memorial Stadium on August 28, the team’s 2008 post-season awards were presented as determined by the Fort Wayne Wizards’ coaching staff, front office personnel and the Times Group Community Publications following the final regular season game at Memorial Stadium on August 28, 2008.
Infielder Lance Zawadzki was named the Physicians Health Plan Player of the Year. Right-handers Jeremy Hefner and Wynn Pelzer were named the Co-Most Valuable Starting Pitchers and closer Jackson Quezada earned Relief Pitcher of the Year honors. Infielder Zach Brown was named Teammate of the Year and outfielder Brad Chalk received the Community Outreach Player of the Year.
On May 17, Zawadzki was hitting .201 on the season. Since then, he has raised his average nearly 70 points, hitting .279 with seven home runs, 57 runs batted in and a team-best 27 steals in 30 chances entering the game on Thursday. His 27 steals are second-best in the San Diego Padres minor league system.
Hefner and Pelzer have nearly identical stats across to pitching staff. Hefner leads the staff with 10 victories to go with a 3.33 earned run average in 29 games, including 24 starts. He has allowed 117 hits, walked 41 and struck out 144, second best on the staff and in the Padres organization. Pelzer entered his start on Thursday with a 9-5 record, along with a staff-best 2.84 ERA among the starting pitchers with at least 10 starts. In 28 games, including 22 starts and 114 innings, Pelzer had allowed 107 hits, walked 28 and struck out 97. His ERA is second-best within the Padres organization.
Quezada, named to the Midwest League Post Season All-Star team, leads the league and is tied atop the Padres system with 26 saves, converting 26 of 29 opportunities to secure a Wizards victory. He recorded his first save on April 29 and after allowing four runs in his first outing the season on April 4, Quezada has allowed only 15 additional runs.
Brown, who has played a platoon role at first base for the Wizards, earned the Teammate of the Year by his display of sportsmanship and leadership both on and off the field. After helping with a in-game promotion with national entertainment act, Myron Noodleman on Saturday, August 16, Brown promptly went out and hit a pair of home runs against the Lansing Lugnuts.
Chalk jumped right into community of Fort Wayne, making appearances at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School to visit with the fourth grade classes during their IDEARC Media Reading Club program, opening day events at area little leagues, signing autographs for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts during their annual overnight events and helping at the annual Wizards Little League clinics.
Today, the Wizards also made an announcement about their new record number of former Wizards to reach the Majors. Somebody should keep track of that stuff. 🙂 Thanks again for another wonderful season Wizards!