2014 Trinidad Triggers Offensive Player of the Year Johnny Bladel was named Can-Am League's rookie of the year.. See Article posted on Sussex Miners Website
AUGUSTA, NJ Ė Johnny Bladel made his Can-Am League debut with the Sussex County Miners this season and the 24-year old has made it count. The league office has announced that the managers and media members have voted Bladel the Can-Am League Rookie of the Year.
Bladel has shown his versatility both in the field and at the plate. Defensively, the 24-year old has played all three outfield positions and has finished the season by playing a handful of games at second base. At the dish, Bladel began the season as the teamís leadoff hitter, but he has now made an appearance in each of the first four positions in the Minersí batting order.
Bladel has given the Minersí offense both power and speed in the teamís inaugural season. The Saratoga Springs, NY native leads Sussex County with a .813 OPS, heading into the final game of the season. Bladel has also slammed seven home runs, driven in 36 runs and stolen 12 bases. The rookie was also responsible for hitting the first home run in Miners history on May 29 against the Ottawa Champions at Skylands Stadium.
The James Madison University had perhaps his best stretch of the season in June. Bladel led the Miners in batting average during the month with a mark of .341. He also led the club with 20 runs scored and eight stolen bases. During one particularly hot stretch, between June 4 and June 22, the rookie outfielder reached base in 18 consecutive games. Bladelís average reached as high as .400 during the streak.
Though June was a banner month for Bladel, perhaps the most impressive snippet of the rookieís season came in the middle of August. In the span of 11 days, Bladel hit not one, but two inside the park home runs. One August 16, Bladel circled the bases after hitting a line drive off the left field wall at Skylands Stadium against the Garden State Grays. Not long after that, on August 27, Bladel repeated the feat on the road against the Rockland Boulders, this time with a liner down the right field line that caromed into the bullpen.
With the award, Bladel has become the first player in Miners history to receive a Can-Am League postseason award. Bladel was also named by the Miners as the teamís Player of the Month in both May and June.
For more information on the Sussex County Miners, call (973) 383-7644 or go online to SussexCountyMiners.com.