The Texas League announced its End of Year All-Star Team today, and the Tulsa Drillers were well represented. Heading the honorees was Chase De Jong, who was named the TL's Pitcher of the Year. Outfielder Alex Verdugo and second baseman Willie Calhoun were also named to the elite squad.
De Jong is the fifth Drillers hurler to ever receive the Pitcher of the Year Award, joining Danny Smith (1992), Jeff Francis (2004), Samuel Deduno (2009) and Tyler Anderson (2014). All four previous winners have gone on to pitch in the major leagues.
For De Jong, it was a much-deserved honor. The right-hander leads the TL with 14 wins this season. He has also sported the lowest ERA in the league for most of the second-half of the season, and will enter his final start of the regular season with a 2.86 mark. De Jong is currently third among all league pitchers with 125 strikeouts, only one behind the two co-leaders.
Verdugo and Calhoun have also earned their spots on the All-Star squad with strong years.
Calhoun has produced one of the biggest offensive seasons ever by Drillers second baseman. He currently leads the TL with 88 RBI and is second with 27 home runs. He is also ranks second among all league hitters in runs scored (74), total bases (232) and in slugging percentage (.485).
Verdugo was one of three outfielders named to the All-Star Team. The 20-year-old ranks among the TL's Top 10 in batting average and is fifth in total hits with 125. He has also been impressive in the field, ranking second among league outfielders with 13 assists this season.
The complete Texas League All-Star Team is listed below.
The All-Stars are determined through voting by league managers, coaches and media members.
2016 Texas League End of Season All Star Team
1B Ronald Guzman, Frisco
2B Willie Calhoun, Tulsa
3B Matt Chapman, Midland
SS Alex Bregman, Corpus Christi
UTL Franklin Barreto, Midland
OF Ryan Cordell, Frisco
OF Teoscar Hernandez, Corpus Christi
OF Alex Verdugo, Tulsa
DH Luke Voit, Springfield
C Beau Taylor, Midland
P Chase De Jong, Tulsa
P Jason Jester, San Antonio
P Jake Junis, Northwest Arkansas
P Jordan Kipper, Arkansas
P Francis Martes, Corpus Christi
P Brendan McCurry, Corpus Christi
P Eric Skoglund, Northwest Arkansas
P Luke Weaver, Springfield
Texas League Manager of the Year - Ryan Christenson, Midland
Texas League Pitcher of the Year - CHASE DE JONG, TULSA
Texas League Player of the Year - Matt Chapman, Midland
Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year - Jason Hart, Frisco