Aidan Stinnent proved a lot to himself in just one summer with the Moose Jaw Miller Express.
The third baseman took home the Silver Slugger and rookie of the year honours for the Western Major Baseball League.
The Vista, Cali. native also won the Silver Slugger award at the team awards earlier this week.
“Coming into the year, I didn’t really know what to expect. I hadn’t faced live pitching in about nine months,” said Stinnent. “The first few months were a real struggle for me, as I couldn’t time anything, but fortunately, I got myself going and helped the team out.”
Stinnent red-shirted with the University of San Diego last season and said this summer was a learning curve, but will help him as he goes back down south.
“This will definitely help me. I will be more prepared for college pitching,” he said. “I think I really improved as a player up here and hopefully my coaches will see that.”
With the Express, Stinnent appeared in 43 of the 46 games, all at third base.
He had a fielding percentage of .925 and made 10 errors on the season.
It was his strong approach at the plate that proved to be the difference maker for Stinnent.
His lowest batting average dropped to .250 only three times, but he was well over .300 for most parts of the season. He finished with a league best .393 average — just a few points ahead of teammate Miles Hunter.
“I got more comfortable in the box. That is what usually happens — more at bats you get, them ore comfortable you get,” said Stinnent. “I was fortunate that I got to play almost every game and that really helped me.”
It is unlikely that Stinnent will be back next summer with the Express and his game continues to grow and develop at a high level at USD.
However, the experience of playing in the WMBL with the Express left him satisfied.
“It was great and a great group of guys,” Stinnent said. “Props to coach (Michael) Hunt … he has done everything to help me out as a person and player to develop. He puts in a lot of work at the field to make it a great experience for all of us. I couldn’t be more happy with my experience here."
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