Top 10 Players of the Year - No. 1
and Arodys Vizcaino, who were out of the organization) in their top 30, not to mention Austin Romine and Brandon Laird, there were plenty of good choices to go around.
No. 1 - Brandon Laird
Why he's here: Put simply, Laird had the most dominant season of any player in the Tony Franklin era. Before leaving after August 1, he put up the following numbers: .291/.355/.878, 22 2Bs, 23 HRs, 90 RBIs. Those 23 bombs came in just 409 at-bats, meaning he left the yard once every 17.8 ABs, which is pretty darn impressive.
He also earned the Thunder's first Player of the Month honor since 1999, when David Eckstein took home the award. Laird was also a Player of the Week, a mid-season All-Star, a postseason All-Star, the league's MVP and Rookie of the Year, and was named to the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars game. He also was the starting third baseman at Metro Bank Park for the EL All-Star Game.
Laird also put together two of the more memorable afternoons this year. One came when he had seven RBIs in the span of two innings against the Binghamton Mets. The other, which I said was the fifth-best game of year, saw Laird hit a walk-off home run to complete the cycle, something that, at that point, hadn't been done in the MLB in 26 years.