ASHEVILLE, NC-- The 2016 Asheville Tourists baseball season is one that will not be soon forgotten. Despite a 66-72 final record and failing to secure a playoff spot for the first time since 2013, the Tourists remained competitive and entertaining to watch throughout. Fans came out to support the team in record fashion. Even with four rainouts, McCormick Field saw 183,058 fans pass through the front gates; an all-time regular season Asheville Tourists record.
Asheville finished atop the South Atlantic League in a number of offensive categories. The Tourists' .268 team batting average paced the circuit. They also led the league in team doubles (307), sacrifice bunts (100) and total bases (1,921). The team played a number of close games throughout the season. Of their 138 games, 90 were decided by three runs or less. The Tourists also played in 18 extra-inning games, the most in the league.
The best month of the season for Asheville was May. During the month of May, the Tourists compiled an 18-11 record and hit .285 as a team while the pitching staff's ERA was an impressive 3.78. Asheville did not have a winning record in any other month of the season.
Several individual players shined during the 2016 campaign. Brian Mundell was named the South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player and set a modern Minor League record for doubles in a season with 58. Brendan Rodgers was named as the league's top shortstop and finished one Home Run shy of becoming the third middle infielder in Tourists history to hit 20 Home Runs in a season. Yonathan Daza was named as one of the league's top three outfielders and finished third in the league with a .307 batting average.
The pitching staff was led by Trey Killian. The right-hander's 12 victories ranked second in the league. Killian recorded 136 strikeouts on the year which was the fourth most among all SAL pitchers. The Tourists did not have any pitchers named SAL Pitcher of the Week; however, several hitters were named Player of the Week. Mundell, Rodgers, Sam Hilliard, and Josh Fuentes all took home that honor.
All in all, 38 players suited up in a Tourists uniform in 2016. Although the end result did not meet the expectations of the players and coaches, the effort and constant growth of all 38 individuals was evident. The Tourists Front Office extends its deepest thanks to the Tourists players, coaches, Colorado Rockies, and fans that helped make 2016 a memorable, record-setting year.