BILLINGS - Hometown outfielder Jalen Garcia of the Billings Mustangs is the 2021 Pioneer League Rookie of the Year, the league announced Wednesday at its winter meetings in Las Vegas.
Garcia, who attended Billings Christian School and played American Legion Baseball for the Billings Scarlets before eventually signing with Montana State University Billings, was also one of the league's most lethal hitters in the second half of the season.
MTN Sports featured his rise to professional baseball when Garcia signed with the Mustangs in May.
Garcia belted 15 home runs in the second half, including three multi-home run games. He finished tied for the league lead in triples and was second in stolen bases, according to the team.
The slugger also led Billings in runs, hits (75), doubles, triples (13) , home runs (16) and stolen bases (29). He closed with a .349 batting average and 75 RBI.
Zac Almond, catcher for the PBL champion Missoula PaddleHeads was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. Almond had 92 RBI’s and a .353 average.
Missoula first-year Manager Michael Schlact, who led the PaddleHeads to a championship and a league-best overall record of 66-32, was named the PBL Manager of the Year.
The Ogden Raptors' David Maberry was named the PBL Batting Champion with a .412 batting average. Almond was also crowned the league’s home run champion with 26 HRs. Idaho Falls' Matt Feinstein won the RBI title with 116 RBI.
Grand Junction’s Robbie Baker won both the ERA title (0.77) and was the Saves leader with 12 saves.
Postseason award winners:
Pitcher of the Year- Mark Simon, Missoula PaddleHeads
Rookie of the Year- Jalen Garcia, Billings Mustangs
International Player of the Year- Jason Matthews, Great Falls Voyagers
Knockout Round Champion- Manny Olloque, Rocky Mountain Vibes
The PBL All Star team:
1B- Webb Little, Idaho Falls Chukars
2B- Vinny Esposito, Grand Junction Rockies
3B- Cameron Thompson, Missoula PaddleHeads
SS- Clay Fisher, Missoula PaddleHeads
C- Zac Almond, Missoula PaddleHeads
OF- Josh Broughton, Ogden Raptors
OF- Matt Feinstein, Idaho Falls Chukars
OF- Jakob Goldfarb, Ogden Raptors
DH- David Maberry, Ogden Raptors
SP- Matt Dallas, Boise Hawks
RP- Mark Simon, Missoula PaddleHeads
Closer- Robbie Baker, Grand Junction Rockies