Theo Fightmaster, General Manager
With a field of deserving candidates vying for the honors for the 2015 Pacific Association Rookie of the Year, it was Sonoma Stompers outfielder Mark Hurley who came away with the most votes, and the award.
In an airtight ballot, Hurley edged out teammate right-handed pitcher Sean Conroy, who himself narrowly inched out Pittsburg Diamonds third baseman, Rich Mejia. Stompers first baseman, Daniel Baptista, finished fourth.
Hurley, who played collegiate baseball at Cal State Monterrey Bay State, appeared in 74 games with Sonoma, leading the Stompers with 51 RBI, a .302 batting average (90 for 298), belted nine home runs, scored 61 times, and stole 11 bases.
The 23-year-old rookie impressed with a .362 OBP, slugged .466 for an OPS of .828. Hurley, also earned top defensive honors for his play in left field. The Hollister, Calif. native handled 106 of 109 chances. Primarily a left fielder, the Hollister, Calif. Native was perfect in right (20 putouts in 20 chances). Hurley also had a league best six outfield assists.
“It wouldn’t have happened without my teammates, coaches, the entire Stompers front office, and the people of Sonoma,” Hurley said. “I’m grateful and I thank everyone for this honor.”
Conroy, 23, of Clifton Park, New York, pitched in 22 games for Sonoma, and made an impact with his quick reactions off the mound. Conroy was perfect with the leather, tallying five assists and recording 13 putouts without making an error. Conroy, a rookie, was outstanding in his first year of professional baseball, going 5-3 with a 2.70 ERA, including 10 saves, and a remarkable strikeout-to-walk ratio of 52-15. Opposing batters hit just .192 against him with a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 0.950.
Mejia hit .290 in 75 games for Pittsburg. The third baseman belted four homers, 11 doubles, drove in 38 runs and scored 40 while carrying an OBP of .366.
The voting body was comprised of league front office personnel, managers, coaches and broadcasters. Voters selected the top two defensive players by position. The league will announce more awards based on the following schedule:
Reliever of the Year: Wednesday, October 21
Manager of the Year: Monday, October 26
Pitcher of the Year: Wednesday, October 28
ost Valuable Player: Monday, November 2