Inland Empire 66ers Mid-Season Awards
Sixty-Sixers Slugger Bryan LaHair (M's)
Sixty-Sixers Slugger Bryan LaHair (M's)

Posted Jun 25, 2005

It's time to hand out the mid-season awards for the Inland Empire 66ers of the High-A California League. Any guesses on who the Team MVP might be?

TEAM MVP: Bryan LaHair, 1B
Easily could have been recently-promoted shortstop Adam Jones but the winner is Bryan LaHair. LaHair hit .275 and has shown more grit and leadership qualities than anyone on the roster. A self-described “RBI guy” who has learned to hit, LaHair leads the team in RBI with 53 and has served well as the cleanup hitter, slotted between Jones and outfielder Wladimir Balentien.

PITCHING MVP: Jason Mackintosh, LHP
J-Mac is a bull and will throw everything at you but the kitchen sink. The 24-year-old has shown durability on a staff that has been anything but consistent, due to injuries to Shawn Nottingham, Kevin Olore and with Ryan Feierabend struggling. The left-handed Mackintosh may have a 3-5 record in 15 games but posted a 3.70 ERA to go along with 68 K’s in 92 innings of work during the first half. Mackintosh gives the 66ers a chance to win each time he steps to the mound.

BULLPEN STUD: Nick Bourgeois, LHP
Bourgeois is the lone bright spot for a bullpen struggling to finish games all season long. The left-hander has posted a 2.76 ERA in 15 games and California League batters are hitting just .229 off him. If Mike Steele or Aaron Trolia can't secure the closer's role, Bourgeois may get a shot to finish games for the 66ers.

LaHair, a first baseman, has had his work cutout for him this year. With an infield that has made 67 errors, many of the throwing variety, he stretched, jumped and did everything he could to limit the errors by the Inland infielders. LaHair has made just two miscues of his own, adding to his value at an otherwise underappreciated defensive position.

UNSUNG HERO: Carlos Arroyo, OF
Arroyo has gone under the radar for the second straight season after hitting .323 last season for the 66ers. Arroyo joined the club in the second week of May and has been on a tear ever since. The 24-year-old hit .385 in 36 games during the first half, driving in 23 runs and stealing eight bases.

BEST MOMENT: Adam Jones' Blast off Scoreboard
Jones hit the scoreboard in center field at Arrowhead Credit Union Park in April. It was like something out of “The Natural”.

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