Twins announce Diamond Awards winners; Hughes MVP

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Phil Hughes is the big winner of the Minnesota Twins 10th annual Diamond Awards.

The Twins announced Thursday that Hughes, who in his first season with Minnesota was a bright spot for a team that lost 90-plus games for a fourth consecutive year, was voted the team's Most Valuable Player and the Twins Pitcher of the Year.

Hughes set an all-time Major League Baseball record with an 11.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He walked only 16 batters all season while finishing with 186 strikeouts. Hughes led all Twins starting pitchers with a 3.52 earned-run average.

The Diamond Awards banquet will be held Jan. 22, 2015 at Target Field. Awards are voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America local chapter, according to the Star Tribune.

Infielder/outfielder Danny Santana was voted Most Outstanding Rookie. The Twins note that Santana led all rookies in the following post-All-Star break stats: runs (51), hits (85) and doubles (17). He finished the season with a .319 batting average.

Former Twins submarining reliever Pat Neshek, who now pitches for the St. Louis Cardinals, won the Dick Siebert Award, which goes to the best MLB player from the upper-midwest. Neshek is a native Minnesota and graduated from Park Central High School.

Most Improved Player: Eduardo Escobar

Defensive Player of the Year: Brian Dozier

Bob Allison Award: Kurt Suzuki (given to the player who exemplifies hustle and determination on and off the field)

Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award: Brian Duensing

Media Good Guy Award: Ron Gardenhire

Gardenhire was fired after the season, his 13th as Twins manager. During his exit press conference he said he wanted to continue managing. Twins Daily's Nick Nelson, however, tweets that it doesn't look like Gardenhire will get a job for next year.

Gardenhire said he was looking forward to meeting his grandson when his daughter gives birth later this year.

Joe Mauer did not win any awards. He was the team's Most Valuable Player in 2013.

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