Bottcher Recognized as Rawlings ‘Big Stick’ Award Winner

Rochester, Minn. – The Northwoods League is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award. This award is given to the player at each position who had the best batting average during the 2019 regular season.

Express infielder Matt Bottcher earned the award with the highest batting average of all qualifying second basemen in the Northwoods League. Not only was Bottcher’s .367 average good for second overall among ‘Big Stick’ award winners, but it was also the second-highest batting average in Express history. Additionally, the University of Illinois-Chicago product set a single-season Express mark in hits with 84, tied the season record with 7 doubles this year, and also put his name up on the Express leader boards in single-season RBI’s, on-base percentage, and slugging.


Bottcher was selected as a 2019 NWL All-Star and Post-Season All-Star and was invited to the 2019 Major League Dreams Showcase.

La Crosse Loggers first baseman J.T. Schwartz leads the list of ‘Big Stick’ award winners. Schwartz earned a Rawlings “Big Stick” by leading the league with an impressive .378 batting average.

Rawlings has been rewarding the top hitters in the Northwoods League since 2007 in addition to honoring the best fielders since 2002. Express first basemen Sam Kohnle was honored with a ‘Finest in the Field’ by Rawlings and the Northwoods League earlier in October.


The nine ‘Big Stick’ award winners will receive an engraved bat from Rawlings. The complete list of 2019 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award Winners is below.


Position Player NWL Team College Batting Average
C Logan Michaels Madison Virginia .354
1B J.T. Schwartz La Crosse UCLA .378
2B Matt Bottcher Eau Claire Illinois-Chicago .367
3B Adam Frank Wisconsin Fairleigh Dickinson .348
SS Evan Berkey Rochester Cal State Bakersfield .358
INF Justice Bigbie Madison Western Carolina .346
OF Richie Schiekofer Wisconsin Rapids Rutgers .325
OF Brandon Seltzer Wisconsin Palm Beach Atlantic .325
OF T.J. Reeves Wisconsin Alabama .324
DH Jake Thompson Lakeshore Kentucky .355

To be eligible a player would have needed to have enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title. A player must have a minimum of 2.7 plate appearances per team game.

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The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Express as your favorite team.