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Chris Shaw wins 2018 Barney Nugent Award

The award is given out by teammates and coaches

MLB: San Francisco Giants-Media Day
I said last year that I looked like a cave troll standing next to him in a picture, and I stand by that
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Shaw, large human being and top Giants prospect, won the 2018 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.

Shaw impressed teammates in a few ways this spring. He showed off a nice hitting approach:

He had success against major league pitching:

And, of course, dude hits dingers:

Shaw has been working on his defense this spring, and showed up having dropped a bunch of weight so he could be more athletic in left field. That’s the kind of thing that gets you noticed by your teammates to the extent that they vote for you to win an award. That and dingers, of course. Everyone loves those dingers.

But I’m burying the lede here. The lede is me. Because for the third year in a row, I correctly predicted who would win this award at the start of Spring Training, and so for the third year in a row, you, the McCovey Chronicles reader, need to be reminded that this is the most useless dang superpower in the world. Imagine if I could, like, shoot fireballs out of my hands. Man, that would rule. Nope. Barney Nugent Award. Sorry, me. Imagine if I could predict any other baseball award. Not even national awards either. The Willie Mac Award is a big deal! People get super into it. It sure would be a good look if I knew who would win that before the season started.

Nope. Barney Nugent Award.

Does it matter? No. Is it impressive? I mean, I guess. Is it something I will bring up at every opportunity until I break my streak? Obviously. Was the real award the friends we made along the way? Absolutely not. The real award was the award that I have correctly predicted for three years in a row, and I will be insufferable about that.

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
  • 2017 - Jae-gyun Hwang

Fun fact: This list has accounted for 100% of Giants to ever homer in the 18th inning of a playoff game in a year that the team won the World Series, which means that Chris Shaw is guaranteed to homer in the 18th inning of a playoff game for the Giants in a year that they go on to win the World Series. But first things first. Congratulations to Chris Shaw, Barney Nugent Award winner.