The Western Canadian Baseball League recently announced their 2019 award winners and all-star teams.
Here’s a look at the people who were recognized for their outstanding achievements in the 12-team WCBL, which calls Alberta and Saskatchewan home:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Lethbridge Bulls first baseman – seen here right before he won the WCBL Home Run Derby at the 2019 All-Star Game in Edmonton – was named the league’s MVP for his 12 HR, 66 RBI campaign. Warden, who batted .369, was also named a Second-Team All Star … Kaleb Warden photo by Ian Wilson
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
It was a dream season for Tristan Peters and the Okotoks Dawgs. After winning a WCBL championship and being named the playoff MVP, Peters claimed dual rookie of the year honours (Canadian and WCBL ROY), as well as an outfield spot on the First-Team All Star squad. In addition, his .396 average made him the league’s batting champ … photo by Ian Wilson
Starting pitcher was exceptional for the Regina Red Sox this summer. He led the WCBL in wins (8) and strikeouts (81). Batten also posted the lowest earned run average in the league at 1.53 and was named a First-Team All Star … Michael Batten photo by Ian Wilson
FIRST-TEAM ALL STARS – STARTING PITCHERS
Joining Batten as a First-Team All Star selection was Zachary Patterson (seated centre) of the Swift Current 57s. Patterson went 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 59 Ks over 51.1 regular season innings … photo by Ian Wilson
Edmonton Prospects pitcher earned First-Team All Star honours by pitching 74 regular season innings and compiling a 2.43 ERA and 5-2 record … Hunter Boyd photo by Ian Wilson
FIRST-TEAM ALL STARS – BULLPEN
(pictured above) was selected as the First-Team All Star closer because of his eight saves, 1.92 ERA and 32 Ks in 23.1 innings. Meanwhile, Regina teammate Jackson Cofer Heibert Romero and Swift Current pitcher Graeme Cherry were also picked as relievers … photo by Ian Wilson
FIRST-TEAM ALL STARS – INFIELD
(left) was a two-time First-Team All Star. He was selected at first base and as a designated hitter. In 54 games, Keller batted .386 with eight home runs, 21 doubles and 49 RBI … Griffin Keller photo by Ian Wilson
The middle infield was also represented by the Regina Red Sox. Adam De La Cruz (pictured above) was a First-Team All Star at shortstop, while Ivan Nunez was chosen as the top second baseman … photo by Ian Wilson
Australian Jack Barrie was picked as the best third baseman in the WCBL. Playing for the Weyburn Beavers in 2019, Barrie led the league in home runs, with 19, and his 57 RBI were good for second overall … photo by Ian Wilson
FIRST-TEAM ALL STARS – OUTFIELD
(middle) of the Edmonton Prospects joined Peters as a First-Team All Star outfielder. Weyburn’s Travis Hunt Dominic Sere was also picked as a top outfielder and Swift Current’s Breyden Eckhout was named the best utility player … photo by Ian Wilson
SECOND-TEAM ALL STARS – STARTING PITCHERS
Starting pitcher Christian Vick (seated on the right) hangs out with Weyburn teammates at the 2019 WCBL All-Star Game. Vick, who threw the Beavers first no-hitter in team history, was named a Second-Team All Star. Starting pitchers Austin Alarid of the Regina Red Sox and Nolan Ruff of the Okotoks Dawgs also made the Second-Team All Star squad … photo by Ian Wilson
SECOND-TEAM ALL STARS – BULLPEN
Okotoks Dawgs bullpen ace Brandon Desjardins was selected as a Second-Team All Star relief pitcher, along with Shandon Herrera of Weyburn … photo by Ian Wilson
WCBL saves leader (standing far right) earned Second-Team All Star recognition as a closer. He closed out 12 games for Swift Current … Garrett Alexander photo by Ian Wilson
SECOND-TEAM ALL STARS – INFIELD
Second baseman of the Okotoks Dawgs has reason to smile. After batting .290 with 46 runs and 13 stolen bases over 51 games, Rihela was named a Second-Team All Star … Liam Rihela photo by Ian Wilson
Regina Red Sox third baseman Samuel De La Cruz (centre) was added to the WCBL’s Second-Team All Star team … photo by Ian Wilson
Swift Current shortstop
Kiel Krumwiede was also named a Second-Team All Star, as was his teammate Ryan Magdic (designated hitter) and his coach, . Joe Carnahan
capped off a successful 2019 summer season for the Lethbridge Bulls with a Second-Team All Star selection as a utility player. Jepson – who batted .319 with seven long balls and six stolen bases – spent most of the season as a first baseman … Riley Jepson photo by Ian Wilson
SECOND-TEAM ALL STARS – OUTFIELD
Okotoks centre fielder made the WCBL Second-Team All Star team after batting .345 and stealing 20 bases. Todosichuk was joined by Regina outfielders Davis Todosichuk Wesley Moss and Ryan Eastburn … photo by Ian Wilson
The players weren’t the only people honoured by the WCBL.
Elemer Jerkovits was named the 2019 Umpire of the Year and a pair of executives were also recognized.
EXECUTIVES OF THE YEAR
Pat Cassidy, the Managing Partner of the Edmonton Prospects, surveys RE/MAX Field. Cassidy was named the West Division Executive of the Year. Darryl Pisio of the Moose Jaw Miller Express was selected as the East Division Executive of the Year … photo by Ian Wilson
A full list of award winners and all stars can be found
Meanwhile, the WCBL’s recent Annual General Meeting in Weyburn also generated headlines. The
Melville Millionaires and Yorkton Cardinals announced a one-year hiatus from the league and the Brooks Bombers have reached an agreement for new owners.
The changes will result in a 10-team league for 2020 and the Medicine Hat Mavericks will move from the Western Division to the Eastern Division, where they will compete against Saskatchewan-based squads.