Handing Out San Francisco Giants’ 2015 Superlative Awards

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The Matt Duffy “Where the Heck Did He Come From” Award

Sep 25, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Duffy (5) warms up prior to the start of their MLB baseball game with the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The Matt Duffy Award is given to the player who made their major league debut in 2015, and had the biggest impact. The nominees are: Kelby Tomlinson, Josh Osich, Jarrett Parker, and Trevor Brown.

Despite a strong push late in the season from Parker, the winner is Kelby Tomlinson!

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All hope seemed lost at second base when the ghosts of Freddy Sanchez and Marco Scutaro dragged Joe Panik into the depths of back pain damnation, but Tomlinson came up, made his debut, and never stopped improving.

Tomlinson wasn’t even a top-30 prospect on MLB.com’s Pipeline, but he hit, and hit, and hit some more when he got his shot. In his first 54 games, he hit .303 and racked up 54 hits. He only hit two home runs, but they were pretty much the most exciting home runs one could hit. His first was a grand slam, one of the Giants’ franchise record nine grannies, and his second was an inside-the-parker, in which he rounded the bases in less than 15 seconds.

His defense improved immensely, as he went from the guy who had Jake Peavy throwing his arms in the air in frustration because Tomlinson went the wrong way on a routine grounder, to a guy who made over the shoulder catches and diving stops on grounders. Peavy probably scared him so much that he vowed to never anger him again. Can’t blame him for that.

In keeping with the namesake of this award, Tomlinson figures to have a key role in 2016 as a super utility man before taking a starting job from a veteran because you just can’t keep a good man down.

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