The Most Valuable Players and Pitchers of the Year have been announced following the end of the Nor-Am High School playoffs, which saw the International Conference’s Guadalupe HS Slashers win the best-of-three series over the Independent Conference’s Dallas Sports Academy Bats, 2-1.
Guadalupe High’s Jean-François Rougier took the INTER Pitcher of the Year Award, which surprised no one except for perhaps Rougier. He had an impressive 7-1 record and 2.26 ERA, topping that conference, a number that is made all the more impressive by the fact that the conference average ERA was 6.48.
Rougier’s simple arsenal of fastball and changeup were used expertly through the year, garnering 75 K’s and permitting a WHIP of just 1.10 over 55.2 innings in 8 starts. March was a particularly triumphant month for the Montreal-born right-hander, as he allowed just 2 earned runs in 5 games (36 innings).
Over in the INDY conference, the Pitcher of the Year Award went to Harland Adronyk, of the Niagara Academy Fighters. The 17-year-old right-hander from Richmond, BC used his “Three C’s” – a cutter, a changeup, and a curveball, to devastating effect all season, massing 69 strikeouts in just 54.1 innings, and putting together a 6-1 record and Nor-Am-best ERA of 2.15. Opposing batters were only able to hit .206 off him, and his efforts earned him a 2.2 pitcher WAR. His pinnacle game of the season came in his last start, on April 16, a 1-hit complete game shutout, whch saw him strikeout 13 Brockville Prep School batters.
The conference MVP’s were also announced this week. No one was shocked to learn that Triple Crown winner Ben Price (RF) of the Dallas Sports Academy Bats took the INDY conference MVP award, on the back of his incredible season, which saw him top the league in average (.444), home runs (18) and RBI (58) to earn the Crowns, but also in nearly every other batting category: OBP (.585), SLG (.928), WAR (4.1), doubles (18), runs (55), bases on balls (48), and total bases (142). In many of the categories, the margin was huge. The next highest WAR was Miguel Reyes’ 2.6, while the next highest total bases count was Alex Rapalo’s 119.
Rumor has it that Price’s signing bonus demand will be in the $6 million range, and he is heavily anticipated to be chosen in the top five picks in this year’s draft.
The other outstanding player was INTER’s Vince Braine (2B/3B). The Anguilla Prep School Oceans lefty bat his .432 and was the only player giving Ben Price serious competition for the batting title. Braine had a 12 game hitting streak during the season, and finished the year on an 8 game streak. He also clocked 38 bases on balls, walking more than he struck out (just 29 strikeouts), and scored 51 runs and batted 48 RBIs during the year, making himself a solid influence in the Oceans lineup.