The Express have named Daniel Salters (C, Dallas Baptist, JR) the 2014 Express team MVP. Daniel Salters was worth the price of admission this past season giving fans at Carson Park plenty of reasons to cheer as he dazzled with his arm behind the plate, power hitting, on-field leadership, and his humility when interacting with fans.
When asked about the meaning of the award to him, Salters said, “It means a lot. There were a ton of great players on the Express and I feel very privileged and honored to be named MVP.”
Salters joined the Express a couple of weeks into the 2014 season, and he was quick to step into a pivotal role in the lineup. Salters batted .327 on the season, hitting seven home runs, scoring 33 runs, and batting in 40 runs on his way to ranking as the ninth best hitter in the league in just 52 games played. In those 52 games, Salters showed his versatility defensively by starting 18 games at catcher and 17 in right field in addition to the many games he started as the team’s designated hitter.
Salters was no stranger to accolades during and after the season as well. Salters was one of two Express players named to the 2014 Northwoods League All-Star team along with Tyler Hermann. Salters performed well for over 70 MLB scouts at the All-Star experience in Mequon, WI and started the All-Star game at catcher going one for two with a single.
Salters also represented the Express along with thirteen other Express players in Madison on August 5th at the Northwoods League Big Dreams Showcase . Salters started at catcher again in game two of the showcase and went two for two with a double and two runs scored in the game.
In post-season awards, Salters was named a post-season all-star as well as the 14th best prospect in the Northwoods League on the NWL top 200 list. Salters was described on the top 200 prospect list as having the “power and ability to hit for average, as well as strong defensive skills [that] make him the top catching prospect and one of the best offensive hitters in the Northwoods.”
“Coming into the summer I wanted to just loosen up and enjoy baseball and that is what I did,” Salters said. “I do think those accolades will help me in this upcoming draft but I still need to stay focused on my goals for the spring.”
Salters’s most memorable moment of the season came in a walk-off win for the Express over St. Cloud on June 20th at Carson Park. The Express trailed 4-3 going in to the bottom of the ninth, but after a Jack Zoellner solo home run to tie the game, Salters came to the plate with one out and a runner on first. On a 1-1 count, Salters sent the 2,379 fans in attendance into a frenzy as he hit one of the longest home runs of the season to give the Express the victory. “We walked them off and that was a blast,” said Salters. “I have been a part of some walk off hits but that ranks up there as one of the best. A great win in front of a great crowd.”
The Dallas Baptist product will enter his Junior season as one of the top players on his team and will be looking to be selected early in the 2015 MLB Draft. When asked about what he learned this season, Salters said, “I learned I couldn’t let struggles from the night before carry in to the next game. Coach Varsho helped out in that way and he made a huge impact on my baseball career. I also learned to cast the worry and stress that comes from baseball on Christ.”
Congratulations to Daniel Salters, the 2014 Eau Claire Express MVP!