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Fernando Cruz Named 2022 Mary E. Barney MVP

October 4, 2022 - International League (IL) - Louisville Bats News Release

LOUISVILLE, KY - During an on-field ceremony in one of the final home games of the season, the Louisville Bats announced that right-handed pitcher Fernando Cruz has been named the winner of the team's Mary E. Barney MVP Award for the 2022 season.

Cruz, 32, made a name for himself with Louisville this season, making 51 appearances as a reliever with a 4-4 record, 2.89 ERA and 23 saves in 56.0 innings pitched with 66 strikeouts to just 19 walks for a 1.04 WHIP while holding opponents to a .198 batting average. He led the team and league in saves this season, becoming the first Bats pitcher to lead the league in saves since Jon Adkins did so in 2008 with 30. Cruz led all relievers in strikeouts and ranked second on the team in appearances and innings pitched (among relievers) and third in wins.

The Bayamon, Puerto Rico native was dominant late in the season, going 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA in his last 27 outings with the Bats from June 19 - Aug. 30. Over the stretch, Cruz recorded 40 strikeouts to just nine walks in 30.0 innings pitched and held opponents to a .161 batting average while converting 14 of his 17 save opportunities.

Cruz had his contract selected on by Cincinnati on Sep. 1 and made his Major League debut the following night against the Colorado Rockies, tossing an inning and recording his first two MLB strikeouts. At the time of his call-up, Cruz led the International League with his 51 appearances and ranked second among IL relievers with 56.0 innings pitched.

Cruz was drafted as a shortstop by the Royals in 2007 and has played in 14 different leagues in five different countries, moving from the infield to behind the plate to finding his spot as a pitcher and making his Major League Debut after 5,567 days of hard work.

Below are the all-time winners of the Louisville Bats' Mary E. Barney MVP Award:

2022: Fernando Cruz

2021: TJ Friedl

2020: *No Season*

2019: Aristides Aquino, Brian O'Grady

2018: Kevin Quackenbush

2017: Sebastian Elizalde

2016: Jermaine Curtis, Hernan Iribarren

2015: Ramon Cabrera

2014: Jason Bourgeois

2013: Greg Reynolds

2012: J.J. Hoover

2011: Devin Mesoraco

2010: Zack Cozart

2009: Kevin Barker

2008: Jon Adkins, Kevin Barker

2007: Joey Votto

2006: Norris Hopper

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