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Savannah Sand Gnats: Hitter Of The Year
It was a season of little team satisfaction for the Savannah Sand Gnats. Battling to stay out of the cellar for most of the season, everything was a struggle for them. However, some individual performances were too good to be overlooked. With some strong power hitting performances to go along with some .300 batting averages, the Savannah offense gave the Nationals something to look forward to in their future.
Getting great consideration for this award was Savannah backstop, Luke Montz. Montz battled injuries throughout the 2005 season and his numbers reflected that. His batting average suffered mightily, but his outstanding power remained. And, for that reason, he places third for this award. The 22 year old catcher slammed 19 home runs, a team leading total. Let's not forget that he missed significant time with multiple different injuries as well. Montz also led Savannah with his 68 RBI, and was second on the team with 24 doubles. In addition to that, Luke also racked up 160 total bases. Despite a a strong year in production, Montz explained that it was never easy to bounce back from his injuries.
"When I came back [from the injuries], I was way off at the plate," Montz told CapitolDugout.com. "I was like 0-10 when I came off the disabled list, but I finally broke out with a swinging bunt or something like that. It was definitely hard coming back. I ended up beating myself up about it quite a bit and I ended up digging a bigger whole for myself. Its just hard to get timing back."
In the not so extended period of time that Seth Bynum was with Savannah in 2005, he put on quite a hitting display. Bynum played in 50 games and compiled 186 at bats, making the most of each and every one of them. The 24 year old shortstop led the team in batting average (.301), on base percentage (.394), and slugging percentage (.484). Not to mention, he also slugged 5 home runs, 13 doubles, and 3 triples. To go along with that, he swiped 6 bases and drove in 29 runs.
Another one of the team's catchers, who also spent time as the designated hitter, Devin Ivany, also put together a very strong season in Savannah. Also showing power, Ivany clubbed 13 home runs on the season while driving in 54. Not to mention, his 27 doubles led the team. He also placed second on the club with 175 total bases. Ivany also put the ball in play, strikeout only 65 times in 409 at bats. For all these reasons and more, the 23 year old catcher is Savannah's hitter of the year.
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