Evansville Otters’ infielder Nik Balog and Traverse City Beach Bums’ starting pitcher Kramer Champlin were named Frontier League Players and Pitcher of the Week, respectively as chosen by Pointstreak, the official statistical provider of the Frontier League and the Independent Professional Baseball Federation.
Balog becomes the 1st member of the Otters to win a Player of the week award this 2016 season. The 26-year-old takes home this week’s honor after tearing the cover off the baseball for the last week and half. In his last 9 games, Balog had 15 hits in his 31 at bats, to go along with 1 homerun, 1 double, 6 RBI, and 5 runs scored. The hot streak and .484 batting average were good enough to help the Otters rally some wins against the CornBelters and Freedom. Balog, a product of Saratoga, California, attended the University of San Francisco where he played four years before signing as a non-drafted free agent for the Baltimore Orioles. Balog played in the Gulf Coast League and then in the South Atlantic League with was low A baseball. Once he left the organization in 2013 he then joined the Frontier League which he has been in ever since playing with the Otters. Balog was a part of the 2014 All-Star Game which he played with the East Division. Previously he was selected player of the week for July 27, 2014.
The Traverse City Beach Bums’ Kramer Champlin is this week’s Pitcher of the week after having a dominating performance against the Joliet Slammers on Friday. He threw the organizations first no- hitter while allowing only three base runners. Champlin started off the first inning giving up a walk and hitting a runner then came back to settle down and have an extremely strong and finished an amazing start. The closest thing to this no-hitter in the Bum’s history was on July 29th, 2012 when Brooks Belter gave up one hit in seven innings faced vs the now-defunct Road Warriors. Champlin has a 1-0 record this season with just a very short 1.25 ERA. He has thrown 14.1 innings and has 13 strikeouts with only giving up 9 hits and 3 walks. Last season he was 2-0 in playoffs with a very impressive 0.64 ERA; he was also selected to be in the All-Star game in 2015. In addition, he was 10-6 last season with a 2.05 ERA which was ranked third in the Frontier League where he threw four complete games with 114 innings pitched. Prior to joining the Beach Bums, Champlin spent four seasons in the Blue Jays organization, where he moved up to as far as Advanced-A Dunedin in the Florida State League where he went 4-2 in 17 games in 2014. The 26-year-old resides from Olympia, Washington and attended Arizona State where he went 9-3 in his 16 starts in 2011 with a 2.93 ERA. After his college career he was selected in the 33rd round of the MLB Amateur Draft in 2011. Previously he was also selected pitcher of the week for June 28, 2015.
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 24th season in 2016 and features 12 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 27 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.