PALMER — As a junior at Central Missouri, Erik Webb crushed it.
Webb was one of the top Division II hitters in the country, batting .410 with 21 home runs and 76 RBI. He hauled in a glove full of honors, including first-team All-American. Now, the Mat-Su Miners outfielder has been honored again.
Webb has been named the Alaska Baseball League Player of the Year and the ABL Silver Slugger.
“He’s something special,” Mat-Su head coach Tyler LeBrun said.
Webb captured the league batting title, hitting .368. He also led the ABL in RBI (33), runs (35) and doubles (16). He was also second in the league with 53 hits and fifth with a dozen stolen bases.
“He can do everything you need him to do,” LeBrun said.
LeBrun said Webb has plus-speed, plus-power, a plus arm, and a plus bat, and foresees a bright baseball future for Webb.
“The sky’s the limit,” LeBrun said.
LeBrun also praised Webb’s presence and character.
“Everyone I talk to loves his demeanor,” LeBrun said.
Webb is the fifth Mat-Su Miners player to earn ABL Player of the Year honors since 2013. The list also includes outfielder Quin Cotton (2017), outfielder and pitcher Brick Paskiewicz (2015), and outfielders Cameron Newell (2014) and Christin Stewart (2013).
Webb was one of five Miners to earn first-team honors. The list also includes starting pitchers Randy Abshier and Kyler Bush, reliever Grant Sloan, and Kody Huff, who earned the honor as a utility player.
“Randy Abshier and Kyler Bush are first-team no-doubters,” LeBrun said.
Bush finished the regular season first in the league with a 1.32 earned run average. Abshier was second at 1.52.
Bush also finished 4-0 with 35 strikeouts and two complete games. He also tossed a no-hitter during a 2-0 win over the Anchorage Bucs in June. Abshier was 3-1 and fanned 42 hitters.
Huff, a recent high school graduate who will play at Stanford in the fall, was named the league’s top utility player. Seen as catcher in the long term, Huff has played a number of different roles for the Miners this season.
“Wherever we need him that day in the lineup he’s done a good job,” LeBrun said.
Sloan finished second on the team with 16 appearances, and fanned 24 hitters in 19 innings. LeBrun said Sloan, Evan Floyd and Owen Lamon were among the leaders of the Mat-Su bullpen. Floyd and Lamon each earned second-team honors.
“When we get to those crucial innings, they’ve been phenomenal locking down games,” LeBrun said.
LeBrun said the big omission was the absence of closer Jacob McNairy on the all-league teams. McNairy finished tied for first with nine saves in the league. He also had 19 strikeouts and a 1.25 ERA.
“There are so many good closers in this league,” LeBrun said. “He’s definitely one of the top closers in the league, and his numbers show that.”
All-Alaska Baseball League
Player of the Year: Erik Webb, Miners
Top Prospect: Brian Woo, Oilers
Gold Glove: Skylar Messinger, Oilers
Silver Slugger: Erik Webb, Miners
Coach of the Year: Grant Palmer, Bucs
First base — Ryan Sullivan, Bucs; Second base — Malcom Tipler, Pilots; Shortstop — Matt Ottino, Pilots; Third base — Cole Tate, Bucs; Bobby Goodloe, Oilers; Catcher — Zach Morgan, Pilots; Utility — Kody Huff, Miners; Outfield — Erik Webb, Miners; Isaac Barrera, Bucs; Chad Castillo, Bucs; Camden Vasquez, Oilers; Starting pitcher — Randy Abshier, Miners; Kyler Bush, Miners; Relief pitcher — Grant Sloan, Miners; Hunter Rigsby, Pilots; Keaton Chase, Bucs; Closer — Colton Rendon, Bucs; Designated hitter — Ethan English, Chinooks; Chance Rogers, Bucs.
First base — Connor McCord, Oilers; Second base — Mason Corbett, Chinooks; Shortstop — Skylar Messinger, Oilers; Third base — George Mendazano, Pilots; Catcher — JP Fullerton, Chinooks; Utility — Chaney Rogers, Bucs; Outfield — Jess Davis, Chinooks; Garrett Spain, Pilots; Blake Paugh, Bucs; Starting pitcher — Zach Sundine, Chinooks; Blake Peyton, Miners; Braxton Cottongame, Pilots; Jeremy Cook, Bucs; Connor McCord, Oilers; Relief pitcher — Evan Floyd, Miners; Owen Lamon, Miners; Michael Frias, Bucs; Closer — Hunter Rigsby, Pilots; Designated hitter — Calvin Ferris, Oilers.