Monday, March 25, 2024

Spencer Jones, Highly-Touted Yankees Prospect, Wins James P. Dawson Award.


Spencer Jones connecting on a home run in the Spring Breakout Game on March 16. @Yankees.

On Monday, the Yankees announced that outfielder Spencer Jones was honored with the 2024 James P. Dawson Award for being the most outstanding rookie in spring training. He received a watch from Betteridge Jewelers in conjunction with the award.

The award was named in honor of James P. Dawson (1896-1953), who began a 45-year career with the New York Times as a copy boy in 1908. Eight years later, he became the boxing editor and covered boxing and baseball until his passing in 1953. The first Dawson Award was presented in 1956, and is voted on by the Yankees beat writers.

Jones enters this season as the No. 2 prospect in the Yankees organization, according to Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. In terms of overall prospects across the league, Baseball America has him as No. 46, and No. 84 by MLB Pipeline. 

The 22-year-old Jones is hitting .444 (8-for-18) with a .565 on-base percentage, and a .722 slugging percentage. with one home run, four RBI, and four walks, seven runs scored, and two doubles in 12 spring training games. He also participated in the inaugural "Spring Breakout Game" on Saturday, March 16, against the Toronto Blue Jays, and he went 3-for-4, with two home runs and four RBI. 

The first Dawson Award was presented in 1956 to rookie Norm Siebern by Yankees Manager Casey Stengel in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the conclusion of spring training. Two winners of the honor, Tony Kubek in 1957 and Tom Tresh in 1962, won the American League "Rookie of the Year" Award in the same season.

Winners of the James P. Dawson Award from 1997 on are: C Jorge Posada in 1997, INF Homer Bush in 1998, None selected in 1999 and 2000, INF Alfonso Soriano in 2001, INF Nick Johnson in 2002, OF Hideki Matsui in 2003, OF Bubba Crosby in 2004, INF Andy Phillips in 2005, INF Eric Duncan in 2006, P Kei Igawa in 2007, INF/OF Shelley Duncan in 2008, OF Brett Gardner in 2009, OF Jon Weber in 2010, P Manny Banuelos in 2011, P David Phelps in 2012, P Vidal Nuno in 2013, P Masahiro Tanaka in 2014, P Slade Heathcott in 2015, P Johnny Barbato in 2016,  INF Gleyber Torres in 2017, INF Miguel Andujar in 2018, P Stephen Tarpley in 2019, P Clarke Schmidt in 2020, P Deivi Garcia in 2021, P Clarke Schmidt in 2022, INF Anthony Volpe in 2023, and OF Spencer Jones.

Notes: Three of the winners were Japanese professionals who were brought in as free agents, but deemed rookies in Mahor League Baseball: Matsui, Igawa, and Tanaka; and Schmidt won it twice, in 2020 and '22 because 2020's spring training was cut short by the pandemic and then a very brief one was conducted when the season commenced in July.

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