Photos courtesy of Paul Baillargeon
Third baseman Niko Vasquez and lefty Kerry Kelley, both of the Gateway Grizzlies have been selected as the Frontier League Player of the Week and Pitcher of the week respectively, as chosen by Pointstreak, the official statistical provider of the Frontier League and the Independent Professional Baseball Federation. This marks the second time that both weekly awards winners have come from the same team, joining Sam Judah and Cullen Babin of Normal in week 5. The Grizzlies have currently won 7 consecutive games and hold the best record in the Frontier League.
Vasquez, in his second year in the Frontier League, went off this past week. He went 11 for 27 in 6 games, drawing 3 walks and hitting 5 home runs and 4 doubles with 10 RBI. Over the weekend, Vasquez annihilated Joliet pitching, hitting 4 homers in the 3 game series. Entering this week’s games Vasquez has homered in 4 consecutive games including a 2 home run game on Saturday. Vasquez, 25, is in his seventh professional season. The Las Vegas native was acquired by the Grizzlies from the Joliet Slammers prior to the season. Prior to his time in the Frontier League Vasquez was a third round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals (91st overall) in the 2008 MLB draft. Vasquez reached AA with the Cardinals and also spent time with the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Lefthander Kerry Kelley, making just his second and third professional starts out of Cal State San Bernardino this week, threw 15 innings in the two starts, allowing just 1 earned run, 1 walk and 7 hits. The Palmdale, California native signed his first professional contract with the Grizzlies on June 18 following a four year career at Cal State San Bernardino. Since signing, Kelley is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA and a 0.650 WHIP. He went 7 innings on Tuesday to beat the defending Frontier League champion Schaumburg Boomers, then went 8 to beat Joliet on Sunday.
Pointstreak provides the league with its statistical software and in game scoring applications. They aim to deliver “fast scores and cool stats to players, parents, fans, scouts and media.” For more information on Pointstreak products visit them at www.poinstreaksolutions.com or www.pointstreak.com.
The Frontier League is entering its 22nd season in 2014 and features 14 teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to northern Michigan. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues, and 25 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.