Latest News

Published On: November 9th, 2020

Rawlings ‘Big Stick’ Award Winners Announced

Jayson Newman from the Stingers tops the list with .405 average

Rochester, Minn. – The Northwoods League is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award. This award is given to the player at each position who had the best batting average during the 2020 regular season.

Willmar Stingers Designated Hitter and Pitcher Jayson Newman leads the list of award winners. Newman earned a Rawlings “Big Stick” by leading the league with an impressive .405 batting average.

Rawlings has been rewarding the top hitters in the Northwoods League since 2007 in addition to honoring the best fielders since 2002. To honor their achievement, the nine award winners will receive an engraved bat from Rawlings. The complete list of 2020 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award Winners is below.

Position Player NWL Team College Batting Average
C Jack Thelen Kenosha Kingfish Wisconsin-Milwaukee .281
1B Tim Elko Fond du Lac Mississippi .351
2B Jalen Smith Waterloo California, Davis .390
3B Brett Harris K-Town Bobbers Gonzaga .356
SS Spencer Schwellenbach Traverse City Pit Spitters Nebraska .356
INF Justice Bigbie K-Town Bobbers Western Carolina .380
OF Wyatt Ulrich Bismarck Larks Richmond .375
OF Zach Gilles Mankato Central Michigan .366
OF Blake Dunn Kalamazoo Growlers Western Michigan .349
DH Jayson Newman Willmar Cal State, Northridge .405

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.



The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods 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 245 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.