Upon conclusion of the 2012 Alaska Baseball League All-Star Game, the players selected to the All-League teams and the recipients of the league awards — including Player of the Year and Top Prospect — were announced.
The complete list of winners is listed below. Players were selected by a vote of team personnel.
2012 League Awards:
Player of the Year: Chase Compton – Bucs, University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Top Prospect: Braden Shipley – Bucs, University of Nevada
Gold Glove: Alex Staehely – Oilers, Creighton University
Silver Slugger: Chase Compton – Bucs, University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Coaching Staff of the Year: Anchorage Glacier Pilots, Anchorage Bucs
First Team All-ABL:
C: Jeff Kremer – Glacier Pilots, Duke
1B: Kristopher Kwak – Chinooks, University of North Dakota
2B: Josh Miller – Oilers, University of San Francisco
3B: Kevin Swick – Glacier Pilots, USC
SS: Blake Miller – Goldpanners, Sacramento State
OF: Bill Cullen – Miners, Virginia Commonwealth
OF: Tyler Spoon – Glacier Pilots, Arkansas
OF: Danny Susdorf – Bucs, California San Diego
UTIL: Chase Compton – Bucs, Louisiana-Lafayette
SP: Jay Calhoun – Miners, Dallas Baptist
SP: Kyle Freeland – Glacier Pilots, Evansville
SP: Scott Grist – Bucs, Texas State
SP: Jordan Mills – Oilers, St. Mary’s
SP: Jon Maciel – Oilers, CS Long Beach
RP: Braden Shipley – Bucs, Nevada
RP: John Straka – Oilers, North Dakota State
RP: Travis Pitcher – Glacier Pilots, San Diego State
Second Team All-ABL:
C: Adam Humes – Chinooks, Northwood
1B: Trey Richardson – Oilers, S.C. Upstate
2B: Kevin Casey – Goldpanners, Lafayette Col.
3B: Ryan Leonards – Bucs, Louisana-Lafayette
SS: Alex Staehely – Oilers, Creighton
OF: Adam Humes – Chinooks, Northwood
OF: JJ Turbin – Chinooks, Westmont Col.
OF: Brenden Kalfus – Bucs, St. Mary’s
UTIL: Clint Freeman – Miners, E. Tennessee St.
UTIL: Nigel Nootbaar – Oilers, USC
SP: Trey Teakell – Pilots, Texas Christian
SP: Mike Theodore – Bucs, Michigan State
SP: Ben Doucette – Bucs, U.C. Riverside
RP: Jake Long – Miners, E. Tennessee State
RP: Carl Robinson – Goldpanners, Cypress
I think it’s a little interesting that they decided to go with both All-Star teams and All-League teams this season. On the surface it seems a little redundant. However, I think it’s a good move. I don’t know if this is the logic they used going into it, but the selection process from the All-Star Game might leave some of the best players out in an attempt to bring relative parity to the teams. As I understand it each manager proposed six of his top players for the ASG and the rest was filled out from there. Its kind of the same debate that goes on in MLB: if every team has to be represented, is it really the “best of the best”?
Doing both strikes a balance. The All-League teams are chosen simply on the merit of being the best (and second-best) player at the position. The All-Star Game is a handful of the best players from each team. That way fans of every team get to enjoy seeing their top guys on the field in the game, but a special list is reserved for those who truly are the cream of the crop. Obviously there is a lot of overlap. But there are slightly different results and I think it’s a good way to do everyone justice, or at least more so than just going with one or the other.
I think Mike Jeffreys should have made one of the All-ABL teams. The dude’s for real.
With the selection of Braden Shipley, this marks the third year running that I don’t get the look I would have liked to at the Top Prospect recipient. It’s especially stinging because I’ve been waiting to see a good power arm and I’ve heard from several reliable sources that Braden Shipley is bringing the heat around 96-97 mph. There’s just a week left and I honestly don’t think I’m going to get out to another Bucs game since I kind of have to make my game schedule conform to other things in my life. At least this year I have a couple of excuses, though. Relief pitchers appear so sporadically you can’t really plan to see them. I think he was injured early in the season, when I saw the bulk of my Bucs games, before I backed away to catch up on the other teams. I don’t know what else I could have done. Doesn’t make me regret it any less.
In any event, we’re coming down the stretch hard. This may be the last week but it’s a crucial one. The Glacier Pilots have a pretty good lead but not one that can’t evaporate. The second-place Oilers have 8 games in the next 8 days; the Goldpanners have 9. So three games up is nothing. At this point it will be a test of endurance. The weather sucks, the days are getting shorter. These guys came off a long college season and jumped right into the grind of every-day ABL play. It might come down to who’s head is still in the game, and who just wants to go home.
As far as I know, each of the top three teams are willing to go to Wichita, so the question of who will represent Alaska at the NBC is still up in the air as well. [Update: Scratch all of that. Apparently there are more teams who don't want to go to Wichita than I thought.] It’s all coming down to this last week of play.