Jalen Smith Wins NWL’s Big Stick Award

Waterloo, Iowa – On Monday, the Northwoods League announced the 2020 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award winners which included Waterloo Bucks second baseman Jalen Smith.  The annual award is given to the player at each position who had the best batting average during the 2020 regular season.

A sophomore from the University of California, Davis and originally from Bakersfield, California, Smith led the entire NWL in hits with 53.  Smith’s name is littered across the Minnesota-Iowa Region statistical leaderboard, leading the pod in runs with 44, second in both batting average and on-base percentage with .390 and .494 marks respectively, tied for second in doubles with nine, and third in slugging percentage at .544.  The infielder hit four home runs and drove in 27, while stealing 11 bases in 38 games for Waterloo.  In September, Smith was named to the 2020 Postseason All-Star Team.

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 from across the NWL will receive an engraved bat from Rawlings.  To be eligible for the award, 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 2020 Minnesota-Iowa Region Champion Bucks play their home games at Cost Cutters Field at Riverfront Stadium which welcomed a new state of the art video board in 2016 thanks to a matching grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association.  Team ownership has invested nearly $400,000 in stadium improvements since the end of the 2014 season including group outing areas, painted bleachers, public Wi-Fi, sound system, kids zone inflatables, wiffle ball field, and concessions equipment.  Fans are encouraged to stay in touch with the Bucks by utilizing their website at or utilizing the Northwoods League Mobile App.

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The Waterloo Bucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. 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 230 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. 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 Bucks as your favorite team.