FORT WAYNE – Accolades continue to roll in for the TinCaps in 2014. Minor League Baseball has announced that former Fort Wayne center fielder Mallex Smith is the fans’ choice for Top Offensive Player this year.
With 23 percent of the vote, Smith (Padres) beat out some of baseball’s top prospects such as Kris Bryant (Cubs), Joc Pederson (Dodgers), Mookie Betts (Red Sox), and Joey Gallo (Rangers).
Smith led all players in Minor League Baseball in stolen bases in 2014 with 88 (48 as a TinCap) — 19 more than anyone else. The 21-year-old from Tallahassee, Fla., played for the TinCaps in the first half of 2014 before earning a promotion in San Diego’s organization to Advanced-A Lake Elsinore after he started in the Midwest League All-Star Classic. Smith posted a .310 batting average and .403 on-base percentage overall for the season. He scored 99 runs with 29 doubles and five home runs.
“The TinCaps organization is proud and happy for Mallex to win this award,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “He was as exciting to watch as any player at Parkview Field in recent years. We also appreciate the job he did in giving back to the Fort Wayne community during his time here.”
Smith, who also starred for the TinCaps during the entire 2013 campaign, was a team leader this past season. In addition to mentoring teammates in the Midwest League for the first time, he also made it a point to give back to the area he said became a second home for him. A lengthy list of Smith’s volunteering efforts includes helping to clean Franke Park and speaking to teenage athletes from the World Baseball Academy and AWP Sports.
“It’s a blessing and an honor,” Smith said. “I’d like to thank all the fans in Fort Wayne who helped make my time with the TinCaps one that I treasure.”
The TinCaps are still in contention for another Minor League Baseball “MiLBY” Award to be announced within the next two weeks. Parkview Field’s April 30th “geyser” is up for “Best Blooper.”
2014 TinCaps Accolades to Date
* Minor League Baseball’s No. 1 Ballpark Experience (Stadium Journey)
* Minor League Baseball’s Top Offensive Player – Mallex Smith
* Midwest League Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year – Abby Naas
* Midwest League Sports Turf Manager/Grounds Crew of the Year
* Midwest League Postseason All-Star – Jake Bauers
* Midwest League All-Star Classic Bunting Contest Champion – Mallex Smith