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Jae-gyun Hwang wins 2017 Barney Nugent Award

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The award is voted on by peers and coaches, and it’s something of a big deal.

MLB: Spring Training-Seattle Mariners at San Francisco Giants Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jae-gyun Hwang, official power-hitting unicorn of McCovey Chronicles, was named the winner of the 2017 Barney Nugent Award, which is “is given in recognition of the player in his first big league camp whose performance and dedication in Spring Training best exemplifies the San Francisco Giants spirit.” The award is voted on by teammates, coaches, and training staff.

When is the last time you won an award voted on by your peers and bosses? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Hwang is making a strong bid to make the Opening Day roster, playing innings in the outfield to improve his versatility, and showing a strong glove and power bat. He’s hit four home runs this spring, with a .324 average. I must remind you again that we here at McCovey Chronicles are completely in the tank for him.

Hwang winning the Barney Nugent Award is also important because Doug Bruzzone predicted it, which gives him a two-year streak of guessing the correct winner. His reward for this foresight is nothing. Absolutely nothing. He could have been blessed with the ability to sniff out a hot stock or pick the winning horse, but he’s stuck with picking the Barney Nugent Award winners every year. Good job, dummy.

I mean, wait, no, this was really impressive and you shouldn’t take it away from him.

A list of the past winners:

  • 1988 - Joe Kmak, Francisco Melendez
  • 1989 - James Steel
  • 1990 - Eric Gunderson
  • 1991 - Mark Leonard
  • 1992 - John Patterson
  • 1993 - Greg Brummett
  • 1994 - J.R. Phillips
  • 1995 - Joe Rosselli
  • 1996 - Marvin Benard
  • 1997 - Dante Powell
  • 1998 - Russ Ortiz
  • 1999 - Damon Minor
  • 2000 - Ben Weber
  • 2001 - Pedro Feliz
  • 2002 - Felix Escalona
  • 2003 - Jason Ellison
  • 2004 - Brian Dallimore
  • 2005 - Scott Munter
  • 2006 - Derin McMains
  • 2007 - Tim Lincecum
  • 2008 - Brian Bocock
  • 2009 - Joe Martinez
  • 2010 - Darren Ford
  • 2011 - Brandon Belt
  • 2012 - Dan Otero
  • 2013 - Brock Bond
  • 2014 - Mark Minicozzi
  • 2015 - Matt Duffy
  • 2016 - Trevor Brown

It’s an impressive list that’s combined for two Cy Young Awards and one 18th-inning homer in a postseason game, so Hwang has his work cut out for him. The first thing he needs to do is make the roster, though. Cross your fingers.