The South Atlantic League announced on Tuesday that Hickory Crawdads SS Jurickson Profar has been voted the 2011 SAL Most Valuable Player.
Additionally, it was announced that the Crawdads, 1st-Half Northern Division Champions, lead the league with three 2011 SAL Annual All-Stars -- Profar as the starting shortstop, 2B Odubel Herrera as the starting second baseman and 3B Christian Villanueva as the utility infielder. Profar, 18, entered the season as the youngest player in the league, and the second-best prospect in the Texas Rangers farm system. In 109 games, the Willemstad, Curacao, native is hitting .285 with 11 home runs and 61 RBIs. He is 2nd in the league in runs (83) and tied for 3rd with eight triples. Profar also leads the team with 34 doubles, which is tied for the most ever by a Crawdad in a single season. He is also tied for the team lead with 64 walks, and leads the club with a .393 on-base percentage. Profar became the first player to ever be selected to play in the MLB All-Star Futures Game as a current member of the Crawdads, and hit an RBI triple on the national stage.
Herrera, 19, leads all current Crawdads with a .308 batting average, 6th-highest in the league, and 139 hits, 4th most in the SAL, through 115 games this season. The Zulia, Venezuela, native also has three home runs and 55 RBIs, along with 26 doubles and three triples. Herrera has collected a team-high 33 stolen bases, which are tied for 3rd in the league. He is currently on a 10-game hitting streak that dates back to August 15, and has 18 hits during that stretch. Click here to view Herrera's player page.
Villanueva, 20, leads all Crawdads with 17 home runs and 81 RBIs through a team-high 120 games this season. The native of Guadalajara, Mexico, broke the Crawdads all-time record for most double plays turned by a third baseman and currently has 37, while also leading all third basemen in the league with a .942 fielding percentage. Villanueva put together a 15-game hitting streak from April 17 - May 6, tying for the longest hitting streak by any Crawdad this season. He has successfully swiped 31 bases, while only being caught five times all season. Villanueva was also voted as a 2011 SAL Mid-Season All-Star and collected an RBI single in the game. Click here to view Villanueva's player page.
The All-Star Team was voted on by the 14 South Atlantic League Team's Field Managers, General Managers, Sports Writers and Broadcasters for a total of 56 votes. Augusta GreenJackets RHP Shawn Sanford was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher, while former Hagerstown Suns RF Bryce Harper was selected as Most Outstanding Major League Prospect. For the complete Annual All-Star roster, visit www.southatlanticleague.com.
NOTES: The Crawdads wrap up the series in Lakewood with a doubleheader on Tuesday at 5:05 p.m.....The 'Dads return to L.P. Frans Stadium for their final regular season home series from Thurs., Sept. 1 - Mon., Sept. 5, before the playoffs come to town! The series against Greenville gets going with Thirsty Thursday, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, on Thurs., Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. Enjoy $1 can beers and fountain Pepsis, as well as a post-game concert by Norva Jean Dreams!