Luke Maldonado, the slick fielding second baseman of the Sheboygan A's, was named Rookie of the Year in the Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League.
Maldonado was also selected to the first all-league team. He was the only A's player to make the first team.
Named to the second team were catcher Harry Steldt, first baseman Chad Langley, and outfielder Cole Heili. Pitcher Taylor Schwarz got honorable mention.
Maldonado broke champion Menasha's hold on the major awards. Menasha's Mac Shumann was cited as Most Valuable player, Jason Wierschke Most Valuable Pitcher, Ryan Hinske Manager of the Year and Adam Grambow was the batting champion.
Maldonado hit .275 in the NEW, the only first teamer not to finish over .300, but it was his glove that the managers and general managers remembered.
"Luke won games for us with his glove," A's general manager Denny Moyer said. "We've had some pretty solid second basemen over the years, but I've got so say Luke is the best we've had since Dave Gehr played 30, 40 years ago. He made some spectacular plays. And after a slow start, he hit well down the stretch."
An Oak Creek resident, Maldonado plays his college ball at Winthrop University in the fast Big South Conference.
Grambow hit .444 with a league high four home runs to lead the championship MACs at the plate as well as lead the league. Five MACs hit .329 or better and a sixth came in at .292.
Schumann, who hit .333 with a league-high 25 hits and 18 runs batted in, played several positions for the MACs and was the heart of the ball club.
Wierschke put up amazing numbers for the MACs and led in just about every department. Most notable were his nine victories, 87 innings and 106 strikeouts.
Hinske managed Menasha to a tie for the league championship with Appleton with a 15-5 record and won the league playoffs, beating Green Bay in the semifinals and Sheboygan in the championship series.
Heili hit .306, Steldt .302 and Langley .271 in the NEW to earn second team honors and Schwarz was 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 26 innings to for honorable mention.
Major Awards: Most Valuable Player – Mac Shumann, Menasha; Most Valuable Pitcher – Jason Wierschke, Menasha; Batting Champion - Jason Wierschke, Menasha; Rookie of the Year – Luke Maldonado, Sheboygan; Manager of the Year – Ryan Hinske, Menasha.
First Team All-League: pitchers – Jason Wierschke, Menasha; Kevin Kangas, Appleton; catcher – Beau Burgert, Appleton; infielders – Adam Grambow, Menasha; Chad Ljunggren, Green Bay; Jordan Plamann, Appleton; Luke Maldonado, Sheboygan; outfielders – Jared Surman, Menasha; Luke Gajewski, Oshkosh; Bran Afzali, Manitowoc; utility – Mac Shumann, Menasha; John Hendrick, Appleton.
Second Team All-League: pitchers – Michael Robbins, Green Bay; John Hendrick, Appleton; catcher – Harry Steldt, Sheboygan; infielders – Chad Langley, Sheboygan; Ben Morgan, Appleton; Bruce Daul, Menasha; Travis Mason, Manitowoc; outfielders – Cole Heili, Sheboygan; Trent Whitcomb, Appleton; Ryan Hinske, Menasha.
Honorable Mention: pitchers – Jake Stern, Appleton; Nick Schadrie, Green Bay, Tyler Robers, Menasha; Taylor Schwarz, Sheboygan; Matt Anderson, Manitowoc; infielder – Robbie Kleman, Oshkosh; outfielders – Zac Peterson, Oshkosh; Courtney Watkins, Appleton, Tyler Brown, Green Bay.
The Sheboygan A's are members of the Wisconsin State League and Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. The A's have helped develop more than 41 players that have reached professional baseball, including 2002 World Series Champion Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim Angels). All Sheboygan A's home games are played at Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan. Connect with the A's on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.comments powered by Disqus