We’ve finished the rookie level hitter and pitcher of the year, so we’ll move up the chain one level, and take a look at the short-season A-ball players. The leagues considered for this award played in either the Northwest or New-York Penn Leagues.
The last three winners?
2016- Jason Morozowski (Staunton 2013)
2015- Orlando Olivera (Luray 2011-12)
2014- Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-12)
The 2017 short-season hitter of the year is Ben Breazeale, who played for the Harrisonburg Turks in 2014!
Ben, who played both at catcher (26 games) and designated hitter (29 games) for Aberdeen of the New York-Penn League, hit 318/428/467 in 195 at-bats. He added 29 runs, 32 RBIs, 14 doubles, 5 home runs, and a 37/56 BB/K ratio. He was clearly the best hitter at this level in 2017!
Others to consider:
- Trevor Craport (Harrisonburg 2016), Ben’s teammate at Aberdeen: 302/388/469 in 179 at-bats, with 31 runs, 30 RBIs, 15 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, and a 21/36 BB/K ratio.
- Kameron Esthay (Harrisonburg 2015), for Auburn of the NY-Penn League (three Turks, but they all played in different VBL seasons: 273/320/411 in 209 at-bats, 25 runs, 30 RBIs, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 14/60 BB/K.
- Tyler Ratliff (Purcellville 2016-17), for Spokane of the Northwest League: 264/330/421 in 197 at-bats, with 27 runs, 25 RBIs, 13 doubles, 6 home runs, and a 17/44 BB/K ratio.