League’s Leading Hitter Not an All-Star

WINNIPEG, MB – Only in the American Association? On Saturday, the 2017 American Association all-stars were named, but the league’s leading hitter, a guy who is sixth in runs batted, third in doubles and tied for the lead in base hits was, shockingly, left off the team.

While four members of a Winnipeg Goldeyes club that is 61-36 and has the best record in the league, did make the team, the American Association’s leading hitter, Goldeyes first baseman Shawn Pleffner, was conspicuous by his absence.

As it is, designated hitter David Bergin, third baseman Wes Darvill, outfielder Josh Romanski, and shortstop Andrew Sohn were all named to the Postseason All-Star Team. However, Pleffner, a guy who could easily be the league’s Most Outstanding Player, was snubbed by the managers and “media representatives” (not, who voted on the all-star honours.

Matt Chavez, the Wichita first baseman who trails Pleffner in most offensive categories — except runs batted in and home runs — was named to the all-star team instead. Defensively, the two each have a .988 fielding percentage, but Pleffner, who has played in all 97 Goldeyes games, has played five more games and 52 more innings than Chavez at first base.

Meanwhile, snubbing Pleffner on offence is a bit of a joke. Pleffner is hitting .344 and will be the American Asociation batting champion while Chavez is hitting .330. Pleffner has 131 hits while Chavez has 109. Pleffner has 30 doubles, Chavez has 16. Pleffner has scored 61 runs while Chavez has scored 55. Pleffner has struck out only 59 times while Chavez has struck out 85 times in fewer at bats.

Chavez leads in RBI, 84-76, but Pleffner often hits behind Josh Romanski and Reggie Abercrombie, two of the league’s RBI leaders. Chavez also leads in home runs 17-10. Chavez slightly leads in slugging percentage and OPS but Pleffner leads in on-base percentage.

Perhaps most importantly, Pleffner has played in all 97 Goldeyes games while Chavez has played only 84 for Wichita.

To be blunt, Pleffner was robbed.

Of course, to be fair, the four Goldeyes who made the team were certainly deserving.

Bergin is tied for second in the American Association in batting average (.330), fifth in runs scored (73), tied for first in doubles (32), tied for third in home runs (20), fifth in RBI (77), and tied for sixth in walks (53).  He’s first in on-base percentage (.435) and second in slugging percentage (.600).

Darvill is 12th in the league in batting average (.312) with 53 runs scored, 19 doubles, four home runs, and 48 RBI. The Langley, British Columbia native is also tied for seventh with 28 stolen bases in just 31 attempts.

Romanski is tied for second in the American Association in batting average (.330), fourth in runs (74), fourth in doubles (27), and second in RBI (81).  He has 11 home runs, and has walked nearly as many times (45) as he has struck out (48).

And Sohn is hitting .302 with 15 doubles, 11 home runs, and 45 RBI while leading the American Association in runs scored (86). He’s also tied for ninth in stolen bases (27).

As the season winds down, the Goldeyes play Game 2 of a four-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Shaw Park tonight at 6:05.

Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports

Photo by Dan LeMoal

Editor of the popular Game On Hockey Magazine and The Point After Football Magazine, editor of Canadian Meat Business Magazine, sports editor of Grassroots News, TV play-by-play voice of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and author of the bestselling book: The Winnipeg Jets: A Celebration of Professional Hockey in Winnipeg. He likes virgin pina coladas, long walks on the beach, puppies and thoroughbred race horses that run according to form.
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