After a concern in roster depth increased mid-season, the Peoria Chiefs got their man in Harrison Bader, who went above and beyond to get the job done. As such, the outfielder is The Cardinal Nation’s Peoria Player of the Year.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2015 third-round draft pick (100th overall) provided the great second half spark the Chiefs needed heading into their playoff run. Bader led the team* in batting average (.301), on-base percentage (.364), slugging percentage (.505), and OPS (.869). (*minimum 30 games played)
The outfielder played in only seven games with the State College Spikes prior to his call-up to Peoria. Bader racked up two homers, four RBIs, and a .379 batting in his brief New York-Penn League stint.
The 21 year-old made a great case for himself as a five-tool star in the making. Bader’s speed, arm strength, and finesse defensive play made him a shoo-in as the everyday center fielder in the second half. He also committed just three errors throughout the entire season.
The offensive side shows potential for power and average with his nine “Bader-bombs”, 28 RBI, .301 batting average, 34 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 21 attempts.
He was named the Midwest League Player of the Week for the period of August 24-30, as the Chiefs earned their playoff berth. However, the confident, but free-swinging Bader still can improve. The right-handed hitter racked up 44 strikeouts in 206 at-bats for a 21.3 percent whiff rate.
There is a lot of potential in this prospect and the St. Louis organization has a lot to be excited about.
Darren Seferina dodged injuries to put together a great first season with the Chiefs. The second baseman finished with four homers, 33 RBI, 23 stolen bases and 58 runs scored while hitting .295. The latter three totals were second-best on the team.
The deciding factor for Seferina came in the second half. The 21-year-old reached a .321 average on July 9, but declined rapidly as the season came closer to the end. Still, Peoria’s leadoff man was recognized as a Midwest League post-season All-Star, the only position player on the team to be so honored.
Link to master article with all 2015 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series. Of course, that includes our selections as the Peoria Chiefs Relief Pitcher and Starting Pitcher of the Year.
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