Royals manager Tommy Shields has led Burlington to its fourth Appalachian League playoff berth in club history. For his accomplishments, Shields has been named the 2012 Appalachian League Manager of the Year. In his first season with Kansas City's organization, Shields has his Royals on top of the Appalachian League East Division with a record of 38-22. Burlington has six games left to secure the division's first seed.
Appalachian League Third Baseman of the Year Patrick Leonard has been among the league's top offensive performers all season. His 13 home runs are second in the league behind Twins outfielder Adam Walker. In addition, Leonard sits in a tie with Alex Ramirez for fourth most home runs in Burlington baseball history. Leonard also has more RBI than any third baseman with 43.
Burlington's Mark Threlkeld was named Appalachian League DH of the Year. Threlkeld leads his team in doubles with 17 and has a .290 average that is best on the club among players with 100 or more at-bats. A right-handed hitter and first baseman, Threlkeld had his best month in July. During that stretch, he hit .321 with 10 doubles and three home runs. All-told, Threlkeld has nine homers on the year.
Bubba Starling has proven his worth both in center field and at the plate, and for that combination he was voted Utility Outfielder of the Year. Starling's defensive range is perhaps the best in the league and his arm has been lethal, as well. At the plate, the 20-year old has 10 home runs, which puts him fourth in the league. He also has the second most steals on Burlington's club with 10.
2012 Appalachian League All Star Team
C: Tyler Marlette- Pulaski
1B: Jeremy Schaffer- Johnson City
2B: Eric Grabe- Bristol
3B: Patrick Leonard- Burlington
SS: Jean Batista- Greeneville
U-INF: Brian Blasik- Greeneville
DH: Mark Threlkeld- Burlington
U-OF: Bubba Starling- Burlington
OF: Dario Pizzano- Pulaski
OF: Candido Pimentel- Elizabethton
OF: Max Kepler- Elizabethton
RHP: Jeremy Gabryszwski- Bluefield
LHP: Blake Snell- Princeton
Relief Pitcher: Ronald Shaban- Johnson City
Player of the Year: Candido Pimentel- Elizabethton
Pitcher of the Year: Blake Snell- Princeton
Manager of the Year: Tommy Shields- Burlington
Trainer of the Year (as announced by Professional Baseball Trainers Society): Ryan Hedwell- Elizabethton
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.