Gateway Grizzlies’ outfielder Blake Brown and Schaumburg Boomers’ starting pitcher Kagen Hopkins 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.
After a slow start to the season Brown’s bats came alive this week. He turned this around raising his batting average to .234 from .185 after extending his hitting streak to four straight games. On Wednesday, Brown, went 2-5 with 1 double, 4 RBI, and 1 walk. Brown, then followed this performance with a 2-4 night on Thursday, with 2 runs scored, 1 Home Run, and 3 RBI. Saturday, was a great finish to the week, Brown batted 3-4, with 1 run scored, 1 double, and 1 RBI. Brown, currently now has 5 doubles, 8 Home Runs, 28 RBI, and 3 stolen bases on the season after this week. Originally from Bloomington, Illinois the 24-year-old was drafted by the Pittsburg Pirates in the 48th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from the Normal Community High School, but he chose to go play collegiate ball at the University of Missouri Columbia. Out of college he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 5th round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft. Previously, Brown, played in the Appalachian League, South Atlantic League, and Carolina League. Most recently, playing for the Lynchburg Hillcats (High-A), where he drove in 17 runs, stole 9 bases in 50 games during the 2014 season before playing in the Frontier League with the Grizzlies where he has spent the last two seasons.
Hopkins earns this week’s Pitcher of the Week honors after his sensational 1-0 start with a win against the Crushers. The 25-year-old right- hander threw 6.2 innings on Tuesday at All Pro Freight Stadium, only giving up 1 run, 1 earned run, 5 hits, 3 walks, and 7 strikeouts. On Sunday at CONSOL Energy Park, Hopkins threw 7 innings against the Wild Things, but got the undecided win or loss. This was a very impressive outing where he only gave up 2 hits, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts. This brought his record up to 3-1 for the season while pitching in 9 games, earning a 2.38 ERA in 39.1 innings pitched 31 strikeouts, 11 walks, and 38 hits. Hopkins is in his fourth season of professional baseball where he previously played in the Pecos League and American Association before playing the last two seasons with the Boomers in the Frontier League. In the 2015 season Hopkins pitched in four games amounting a 3.37 ERA with 13 strikeouts and only two walks in 13.1 innings pitched. Hopkins grew up in Vacaville, California and attended California State University Chico.
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.