Cubs prospect third baseman Kris Bryant was announced this afternoon as the winner of the “Joe Black Award” for the Most Valuable Player of the Arizona Fall League, per Bernie Pleskoff of MLB.com.
Bryant, who was selected No. 2 overall in this June’s draft, batted .364/.457/.727 with six home runs, eight doubles and 18 RBI over 20 games with the Mesa Solar Sox. The 21-year-old led the Arizona Fall League in home runs and OPS (1.184) while tying the Angels’ C.J. Cron for the lead in total bases with 56. Bryant and Cron were actually teammates this fall, so it’s no surprise that the Solar Sox are playing in the league’s title game on MLB Network right now.
Bryant mashed in his first taste of pro ball this season, batting .336/.390/.688 with nine home runs and 32 RBI over 36 games between rookie ball, Low-A Boise, and High-A Daytona. While he may end up in a corner outfielder spot in the long run, it looks like he’s on the fast track to contributing at the big league level.
If you’ve ever found yourself on I-75/71 in Kentucky, just over the river from Cincinnati, you’ve no doubt noticed the water tower for the city of Florence, Kentucky. Its top is painted with red and white stripes and, instead of featuring the town’s name or the name of the local water concern, it says, “Florence, Y’all.”
The water tower is a nice welcome to Dixie, even if Kentucky isn’t really Dixie. The point is that, if you’re from Ohio or Michigan or someplace and you see it, you know you’re on your way to Lexington or Louisville, or points south. To warmer climes, southern charm and hospitality and, hopefully, a nice little trip.
The folks who support the Frontier League baseball team in Florence no doubt realize the kind of chatter that surrounds that water tower, because they just voted to rename their team:
And they added a handy dandy explainer:
I like it. And I like the idea of naming a baseball team after a notable and much talked-about roadside sign. Which is to say that, if I ever get a baseball team here in Ohio, I’m also gonna name it after a famous sign you see while driving on the interstate not too far from me:
Yeah, that’s a thing. And my baseball team would not even be the first sports thing named after it.
Alternatively, I could put one closer to my house and call it the “ODOT SUCKS.” May be better.
Viva local culture.