Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos named the first-ever recipient of the Richard Durrett Hardest-Working Man award.
The award was created by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America to award
"The award goes to the Texas player who demonstrates significant improvement over the previous season or seasons through hard work.” (Anthony Ando, FOX Sports Southwest)"
The award is named after Richard Durrett who passed on June 17 at the age of 38 after suffering a brain aneurism. Durrett covered the Texas Rangers for more than a decade for The Dallas Morning News and ESPNDallas.com. He was revered as one of the hardest-working local sports journalists.
Robinson Chirinos entered Spring Training trying to earn a spot on the big league roster. By the end of April Chirinos was the Rangers’ starting catcher. In his first full season in the majors he made a team-high 88 starts behind the plate.
Call to the Pen
Chirinos ranked among 2014 American League leaders in Double Plays Turned as Catcher with 7 (3rd), Caught Stealing as Catcher with 29 (3rd), Total Zone Runs as Catcher with 10 (3rd), and Caught Stealing percentage with 39.7% (2nd). He also had 3 catcher pickoffs, the most in a season by a Texas Ranger since Ivan Rodriguez in 2002 (7).
Robinson Chirinos also ranked among team leaders in home runs (T2nd, 13), doubles (5th, 15), and RBI (T5th, 40). His 13 home runs as catcher ranked T6th-most in the American League. He hit his first career 2-HR game on August 5 at Chicago White Sox, and became the first catcher in Texas Rangers history with a multi-home run game while catching a complete game shutout.
There is no question that Robinson Chirinos is deserving of the new Richard Durrett Hardest-Working Man Award. Chirinos put in the time and effort to help cement his place behind the plate. He ranked 3rd in for MLB in caught stealing percentage, ahead of Russell Martin. With the guidance of Jeff Banister I look forward to seeing what 2015 brings for Chirinos.