After going just 3 for 39 in a disastrous 17-game stint with the Toronto Blue Jays, outfielder Socrates Brito came to Buffalo in mid-May looking to re-establish his career credentials.
And while Brito might not have room in the Blue Jays' organization, he certainly played a major role in the Bisons' playoff push. As a result, he was named the winner of the team's Stan Barron Most Valuable Player Award prior to Thursday's home finale in Sahlen Field.
Brito had 25 RBIs during Buffalo's 20-win June and entered Thursday's home finale batting .279 with 15 homers and 60 RBIs. Brito led the team in doubles (26) and triples (5), was tied for the lead in batting, and was second in hits (105), slugging (.495) and RBIs. He also committed only one error in the outfield. Brito was a PCL All-Star last year at Reno (.318-17-69).
The Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher Award went to Zach Jackson, who entered Thursday 9-0 to equal the franchise record for consecutive wins. Jackson is only the fourth reliever to win the award in franchise history.
In other player awards: the Judge Dillon Comeback Player of the Year Award went to infielder Bo Bichette. The Jimmy Griffin Hometown Hero award for strong play in Sahlen Field went to utility man Andy Burns. The Joe De Sa Most Inspirational Player was catcher Michael De La Cruz. The Fremo Vallone Community Service Award was shared by infielder Jordan Patterson and catcher Patrick Cantwell.
The Joe Byron Fans of the Year Award went to longtime season ticket holders Al and Evelyn Hummer of Amherst, who have attended all 32 Triple-A All-Star Games since the event began here at then-Pilot Field in 1988.
The Bisons Booster Club also presented its annual awards, with Burns earning its Favorite Player, Jackson taking the Favorite Pitcher and De La Cruz earning the Unsung Hero.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre announced Yankees ace Luis Severino, who went 19-8 and pitched in the All-Star Game last year, will start on rehab against the Bisons in Sunday afternoon's game at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa. It will be his first appearance of the season after dealing with shoulder trouble since spring.
Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery, coming back from 2018 Tommy John surgery, will start Friday night's game for Scranton against Buffalo's Nate Pearson.
The Bisons announced their 2020 schedule, which features a Friday night home opener for the first time since 2008. It comes April 17 in a 6:05 game against Rochester. The season opens with an eight-game road trip, beginning April 8 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and closes with an eight-game trip to Pawtucket, Syracuse and Rochester.
The team announced season tickets will not increase for the third straight year and will go on sale Oct. 1. The bulk of the promotional schedule will be unveiled early next year, but already slated are the 13th annual Star Wars Night (Saturday, June 6, against Indianapolis), the sixth annual Superhero Night (Aug. 15 against Columbus) and School Kids Day (Thursday, May 28, against Scranton at 10:35 a.m.).