2013 Rawlings ‘Big Stick’ Award Winners Announced

(ROCHESTER, MN) – The Northwoods League is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award. This award is given to the player at each position who had the best batting average during the 2013 regular season. 
Madison Mallards second baseman John LaPrise earned a Rawlings “Big Stick” by leading the league with an outstanding .407 batting average. The Virginia Freshman was also a mid-season All Star and helped lead the Mallards to a Summer Collegiate World Series championship by hitting .500 in the playoffs. 
Duluth Huskies outfielder and co-regular season MVP Keith Curcio was second in the league in batting at .367. Outfielder Tim Arakawa of the Mankato MoonDogs was the only player to earn both the Rawlings “Big Stick” and Rawlings “Finest in the Field” Award in 2013. The remainder of the “Finest in the Field” winners will be announced later this month.
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 eight award winners will receive an engraved bat from Rawlings. The complete list of 2013 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award Winners is below.
Position           Player                       NWL Team                  College                        Batting Average
C                   Jackson Slaid          Wisconsin Rapids        Montevallo                        .326
1B                 Marc Flores                  Willmar                        Hawaii                               .352
2B                 John LaPrise               Madison                      Virginia                              .407
3B                 Albert Baur                   Alexandria                   Newberry College           .325
SS                 Andrew Sohn              Alexandria                   Western Michigan           .349
OF                 Keith Curcio                Duluth                          Florida Southern              .367
OF                 Cam Gibson               Battle Creek               Michigan State                  .345
OF                 Tim Arakawa               Mankato                      Oklahoma State                .346
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 Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit