The Voyagers coaching staff watches from the dugout. (TOM WYLIE/MTN Sports)

(Voyagers media release)

Great Falls, MT-The Pioneer League of Professional Baseball has named Great Falls Voyagers IF Anthony Villa the Ralph Nelles MVP for the 2017 season.

For the season to date, Villa is tied for 4th in the Pioneer League in home runs (16), ranks 6th in RBIs (55), 3rd in on-base percentage (.451), and tied for 4th in slugging (.622). Villa is also tied for 3rd in extra-base hits (35), tied for 4th in runs scored (55), and tied for the league lead in walks (51). The former St. Mary’s College (CA) standout is batting .311 in his second professional season.

The 23-year-old Villa hails from Danville, CA, and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 19th round of the 2016 first-year MLB player draft. Villa was named a Pioneer League Midseason and Postseason All-Star in 2017. In 2016 with Great Falls, Villa played in 59 games and hit .249 with 3 HR and 35 RBI.

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Great Falls plays a two-game series at home against Missoula starting Friday night to wrap up the regular season. First pitch at Centene Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Voyagers need just one win in their final two games to reach the postseason for the 10th time in the last 11 years.