ATLANTA, Ga. - President Mark O'Neal of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) announced the winners of the Minor League Athletic Trainers of the Year Awards for the 2018 baseball season.
Connecticut Tigers Athletic Trainer Sean McFarland earned the 2018 New York-Penn League Athletic Trainer of the Year Award. The Wind Lake, Wisconsin native is in his first season as a full-time Athletic Trainer in the Detroit Tigers organization. Previously, McFarland served as a seasonal Athletic Trainer for the Gulf Coast League Tigers and interned with the Toledo Mud Hens while studying at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
"I'm extremely honored to represent the Connecticut Tigers and be awarded the NYPL Athletic Trainer of the Year," McFarland said. "I've learned so many invaluable skills and had great experiences in my first full-time season with the Tigers. I'm looking forward to many more outstanding seasons to come."
The awards are given by PBATS annually to one member of each of the 16 leagues in Minor League Baseball, as well as one award for the Dominican Summer League. An additional award is given to the Minor League Coordinator of the Year.
"I'm happy to announce PBATS' Minor League Athletic Trainers of the Year," O'Neal said. "These athletic trainers have had such a huge impact on their organizations, at all different levels. To win an award voted on by your peers is a true honor. I hope that all of these extremely talented athletic trainers take a few minutes to step back and truly appreciate how great of an achievement this is. Overall, this is extremely well-deserved by all winners."
"I couldn't be happier to award these great athletic trainers for their hard work. The Minor League athletic trainers across baseball do an important job that often can go less noticed. None of us at the Major League level would be able to do our jobs without the hard work throughout all of our entire organizations. And this starts in the Minor Leagues. These winners are the future of MLB athletic training and we know the game is in great hands." added O'Neal.
All 16 league winners, the Dominican Summer League winner and the Minor League Coordinator of the Year will now be eligible for the prestigious Minor League Athletic Trainer of the Year award voted upon by the full membership of PBATS.
That award will be given at the 2018 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas later this year.
The MiLB award winners for 2018 are:
• Coordinator: Chuck Baughman
• International League: Chris McDonald
• Pacific Coast League: Lee Meyer
• Eastern League: Mickey Kozack
• Southern League: TJ Saunders
• Texas League: Jacob Newburn
• Florida State League: Kiyoshi Tada
• California League: Ricky Huerta
• Carolina League: Nick Kuchwara
• Midwest League: Brian Thorson
• South Atlantic League: Kris Terrian
• New York-Penn League: Sean McFarland
• Northwest League: Mickey Clarizio
• Appalachian League: Tyler Brooks
• Pioneer League: John Duff
• Arizona League: Clete Sigwart
• Gulf Coast League: Adam Sparks
• Dominican Summer: Nick Voelker
ABOUT PBATS: The mission of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) is to serve as an educational resource for the Major League and Minor League Baseball athletic trainers. For more information, please visit www.pbats.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.