The State College Spikes announced their 2012 year-end award winners in a ceremony prior to Wednesday's season finale against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Infielder D.J. Crumlich
won the Spikes Most Valuable Player Award, while right-hander Clay Holmes
earned the Spikes Pitcher of the Year Award. Catcher Jacob Stallings
was named the Spikes Leadership Award winner, presented by the Spikes Booster Club.
Crumlich was one of four Spikes named to play in the 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game, and entered Wednesday's game hitting .296 with two home runs and 29 runs batted in. The Irvine, CA native was drafted in the ninth round by the Pirates this year out of the University of California-Irvine, and has flashed his glove at third base, second base and left field at various times this year. Crumlich also leads the Spikes in doubles with 19 on the season.
The infielder joins Major Leaguers Chase d'Arnaud (2008) and Brock Holt (2009) on the list of Spikes MVP winners, along with Justin Byler (2007), Adalberto Santos (2010) and Wes Freeman (2011).
Holmes came roaring out of the gate this year as he did not allow a run over his first two starts and yielded just three earned runs in his first 33 2/3 innings as a professional. The ninth-round draft choice of the Pirates in 2011, Holmes made his pro debut with the Spikes this year, and has posted a 5-3 record with a team-leading 2.28 earned run average while allowing opposing hitters just a .176 batting average. The Slocomb, AL native, who now makes his residence in Tampa, FL, went 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA at home for the Spikes this year.
The right-hander joins Major Leaguers Tony Watson (2007) and Kyle McPherson (2009), as well as Alan Knotts (2008), Kevin Decker (2010) and Nick Kingham (2011), as recipients of the Spikes' Pitcher of the Year award.
Stallings was also an All-Star Game selection, and shouldered much of the catching burden for the Spikes in 2012. The University of North Carolina product has caught 51 of the club's 75 games this year, and has participated in 64 games total. Since being drafted in the seventh round by the Pirates this year, Stallings has excelled defensively by throwing out a league-leading 24 baserunners trying to steal. The Brentwood, TN native entered Wednesday's game with a .234 batting average, 16 doubles, one home run and a team-leading 30 RBI.
Previous Spikes Leadership Award winners include David Rubinstein (2009), Cole White (2010), Chase Lyles (2010) and Matt Skirving (2011).
To find out more about season tickets, mini-plans, flex books and a variety of different group packages and experiences for the 2013 season, call the Spikes at (814) 272-1711 or toll-free at (877) 99-SPIKES. Additional team and ticket information can also be viewed by visiting StateCollegeSpikes.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.