Not only is the choice for the 2016 Triple-A hitter of the year an easy one because of statistics, it’s also a great story.
Stephen Cardullo (Covington 2007) is our winner, and here is what I wrote about him when he made his major league debut back in September:
Stephen was a 24th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010. He then spent two seasons in Missoula of the Pioneer League (a rookie league) before the ‘Backs released him in September of 2011. In 2011, Cardullo hit 288/372/525 in 219 at-bats, so you could say, brilliant reader, that Arizona was a bit hasty.
He didn’t give up, though: Stephen proceeded to play in the Independent Leagues for four seasons, playing in places like Florence, Kentucky (Florence Freedom) and Pomona, New York (Rockland Boulders). He produced at each stop, putting up a collective 291/363/435 in 1,383 at-bats over the four years.
This spring, Stephen was given a shot in spring training by the Colorado Rockies, and he made the most of it, impressing the Rockies enough that they sent him to Triple-A Albuquerque to start the minor league season.
Well, he finished at 308/367/522 in 406 at-bats in Albuquerque. He added 26 doubles, 5 triples, 17 home runs, 6 stolen bases, a 37/58 BB/K ratio, 71 runs, and 72 RBIs. For that, folks, Stephen Cardullo is our Triple-A hitter of the year.
Past Winners (both major leaguers!):
2015- Tyler White (Haymarket 2010), Fresno
2014- Clint Robinson (Harrisonburg 2005-06), Albuquerque
Other to Consider:
- Eric Campbell (Luray 2006), Las Vegas- 301/390/447, 15 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 41/55 BB/K in 302 AB
- Casey McElroy (Waynesboro 2009), El Paso- 284/344/392, 17 2B, 21/35 BB/K in 222 AB
- Mac Williamson (Harrisonburg 2011), Sacramento- 269/314/495, 14 2B, 11 HR, 208 AB
- Tyler White (Haymarket 2010), Fresno- 241/305/500, 13 HR in 174 AB