SIX FINALIST DETERMINED FOR FAN CHOISE AWARD
Voting begins Monday on ABL Facebook page, here are the six finalist.
The candidates have been chosen for the first-ever “ABL Fan Choice Award presented by Fielders Choice,” as each team’s winner was chosen by a vote conducted through their individual Facebook page. Voting for the overall league winner will begin Monday morning at 10am AEDT on the ABL Facebook page and the award will be presented after the completion of the second round of the postseason, which finishes on 5 February.
The following are the final candidates for the 2011/12 ABL Fan Choice Award presented by Fielders Choice:
Adelaide Bite Winner: Stefan Welch Runner-up: Denny Almonte
Brisbane Bandits Winner: Alessandro Maestri Runner-up: David Sutherland
Canberra “UberGlobal” Cavalry Winner: Kody Hightower Runner-up: Brian Burgamy
Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces Winner: Justin Huber Runner-up: John Edwards
‘Alcohol Think Again’ Perth Heat Winner: Tim Kennelly Runner-up: James McOwen
Sydney Blue Sox Winner: Michael Lysaught Runner-up: Boss Moanaroa
Team Australia representative Welch scored a solid victory over standout performer Almonte, leading throughout the week. The versatile first baseman/third baseman/outfielder made his season debut after appearing in the inaugural All-Star Game and has helped the Bite in their fight for a postseason spot.
Sutherland, a write-in candidate by the fans, garnered a lot of support early in the voting. However, Brisbane’s ace Maestri proved to be an extremely popular player with Bandit fans, winning by a wide margin.
Fan-favourite Kody Hightower proved to be the winner over fellow American Burgamy, who last week was selected Cavalry team MVP in another fan vote. In his first season as Canberra’s shortstop, Hightower has been among the league’s top hitters.
Huber, a veteran member of the Australian national team and former MLB first baseman, fought off a tough challenge from Edwards. He has provided a consistent bat all season in the middle of the Aces’ powerful line-up.
Kennelly surged late to overtake the reigning Helms Award winner McOwen. The outfielder/third baseman has been the best among many excellent Perth hitters this season.
In another late rally, Lysaught charged from behind to overtake Moanaroa, himself always a favourite of the Blue Sox faithful. In his second season with Sydney, the shortstop has played in 38 games and provided a solid glove at one of the most demanding defensive positions.