SAUGET, Ill. – The Frontier League announces its awards for the 2018 Season. This season’s awards are headlined by Washington’s outfielder, James Harris for The Morgan Burkhart Award for Most Valuable Player award as well starting pitcher Thomas Dorminy with the Brian Tollberg award for Pitcher of the Year award. The Jason Simontacchi award for Rookie of the Year goes to Lake Erie’s second baseman Aaron Hill. The Lake Erie Crushers have been selected as Organization of the Year. Kim Brown of the Florence Freedom was awarded the Bob Wolfe Executive of the Year award.
The Morgan Burkhart Most Valuable Player Award goes to James Harris of the Washington Wild Things. Harris is in his second season with the Frontier League. He has been a force in the Wild Things lineup after seven years in affiliated ball between the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics. The Oakland, California native is batting .308 on the year with 114 hits and 16 homeruns. The former first round pick also has collected eight triples, 22 doubles, 64 runs batted in and 26 stolen bases. Harris was also voted to start the 2018 Frontier League All-Star game.
Washington Wild Things Pitcher Thomas Dorminy has won the Brian Tollberg award for Most Valuable Pitcher. The Faulkner University alum is in his first season in the Frontier League and has been a staff ace for the Wild Things all year. Dorminy who was selected in the 10th round (2014) by the San Diego Padres has started 20 games and has 9-4 record on the year. The Spring Hill, Florida native also has 2 shutouts to go along with 109 strikeouts over 132.1 innings pitched this season. Dorminy was selected to start the 2018 Frontier League All-Star game.
Aaron Hill of the Lake Erie Crushers has won the Jason Simontacchi Rookie of the Year award. The middle infielder from the University of Connecticut has hit .296 so far this season while collecting 98 hits. The Gorton, Connecticut native has also collected 20 doubles, five triples, four homeruns, 22 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases.
Joliet Slammers Manager Jeff Isom wins the Roger Hanners award for Manager of the Year after leading the Slammers to a 51-40 record with five games to go. This is Isom’s third Manager of the Year honor having won the award in 2016 (Joliet) and 2002 (Washington). Isom has led the Slammers to the second-best league earned run average with 3.72 so far in 2018.
The Fran Riordan Citizenship award goes to Ben Moore of the Southern Illinois Miners. Moore was nominated by his Manager Mike Pinto. Pinto states in his letter that Moore “is the kind of player that is representative of what the Frontier League is about in each community”. Pinto also attached a Facebook post as well a letter that was given to him by a fan about Moore. Moore also never informed his manager about the things that he was doing because he never wanted any recognition for it he was just doing it out of the kindness of his heart.
Organization of the Year goes to the Lake Erie Crushers as voted by other organizations throughout the league. The Crushers current total attendance this year with 83,461 with an average of 2,087. This is Lake Erie’s second Organization of the Year award with the other being in 2011.
Kim Brown, Owner of the Florence Freedom receives her first Bob Wolfe Executive of the Year award in 2018. Florence has experienced their best revenue year in franchise history as well as having the fourth highest attendance in the Frontier League with 103,607.
Here is a full List of the Award Winners for this season:
Most Valuable Player (Morgan Burkhar Award) – James Harris, OF, Washington Wild Things
Pitcher of the Year (Brian Tolberg Award) – Thomas Dorminy, SP, Washington Wild Things
Rookie of the Year (Jason Simontacchi Award) – Aaron Hill, 2B, Lake Erie Crushers
Citizen of the Year (Fran Riordan Award) – Ben Moore, C, Southern Illinois Miners
Manager of the Year (Roger Hanners Award) – Jeff Isom, Joliet Slammers
Coach of the Year (Darren Bush Award) – Emmanuel Quiles, Lake Erie Crushers
1B – Chris Iriart, Normal CornBelters
2B – Jack Parenty, Schaumburg Boomers
3B – Ryan Long, Evansville Otters
SS – Santiago Chirino, Normal CornBelters
C – Skyler Ewing, Florence Freedom
OF – Derrick Loveless, Normal CornBelters
OF – James Harris, Washington Wild Things
OF – Andrew Godbold, Normal CornBelters
DH – Paul Kronenfeld, River City Rascals
SP – Thomas Dorminy, Washington WildThings
RP – Cody Mincey, River City Rascals
Organization of the Year – Lake Erie Crushers
Executive of the Year (Bob Wolfe Award) – Kim Brown, Florence Freedom
Athletic Trainer of the Year – Tim Murray, Florence Freedom
Umpire of the Year – Mike Weinstein
Writer of the Year – Chris Dugan
Broadcaster of the Year (Robert Ford Award) – Tom Willms, Traverse City Beach Bums
Clubbie of the Year (Sam Hartsfield Award) – Ben Garrett, Evansville Otters
The Frontier League is in its 26th season in 2018 and includes 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 35 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues. Follow the Frontier League on Twitter: @FLProBaseball and like the Frontier League Facebook Page.