Storm Chasers Announce Annual Team Awards for 2021
PAPILLION, Neb. - The Omaha Storm Chasers announced the recipients of the team's annual awards on Saturday.
1B/OF Ryan McBroom was named Omaha Hitter of the Year, RHP Jackson Kowar was named Omaha Pitcher of the Year, and INF Bobby Witt Jr. earned Steve Pivovar Prospect of the Year and Fan Favorite honors. McBroom and Witt Jr. will be recognized prior to Saturday's game at Werner Park.
Entering Saturday, McBroom has played the most games for Omaha this season (112) while also leading the team in hits (111), runs scored (75), home runs (31), RBIs (85), and walks (45). His 31 home runs and 85 RBIs are also the most in Triple-A East.
On September 17 vs. Iowa, McBroom hit his 31st home run of the season to set the record for the most home runs in a single season in the Storm Chasers era (2011-pres.), surpassing Carlos Peguero (30, 2014).
Kowar made his Triple-A debut in 2021, striking out nine across 5.1 scoreless innings on Opening Day at Werner Park on May 4 vs. St. Paul. The right-hander posted a 1.01 ERA with 36 strikeouts and nine walks in 26.2 innings in his first five starts to earn Triple-A East Pitcher of the Month honors for May. Following his sixth Triple-A start, when he allowed one hit over 5.0 scoreless innings, Kowar earned a promotion to Kansas City and made his Major League debut on June 7 at Los Angeles (AL).
Across two stints with the Storm Chasers, Kowar posted a 3.46 ERA in 80.2 innings, leading the team with 115 strikeouts while walking 34. At the time of his second promotion to Kansas City on September 1, Kowar's 115 strikeouts were the most in Triple-A East.
Since making his Triple-A debut on July 20, Witt Jr. is batting .302 with a .367 on-base percentage and .625 slugging percentage while amassing 24 doubles, 17 home runs, 44 RBIs, 52 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. The consensus No. 3 prospect in Minor League Baseball and No. 1 prospect in the Kansas City Royals organization, Witt Jr. leads all of Minor League Baseball in extra-base hits (71), ranks second in RBIs (95), tied for third in home runs (33) and runs scored (96), and fifth in total hits (142) in 118 total games in 2021 between Double-A and Triple-A.
Entering Saturday, Witt Jr. is one stolen base shy of eclipsing 30 stolen bases in 2021, which would make him the seventh player in the last 20 years to record 30+ home runs and 30+ stolen bases in a single season. He would also become the third player in the last 30 years to record 30+ home runs, 30+ stolen bases, and 30+ doubles in a single season.
The Storm Chasers continue the Triple-A Final Stretch on Saturday with the fourth game of a five-game series against the Indianapolis Indians (PIT) at Werner Park, when right-hander Ronald Bolaños (0-3, 6.32) is slated to face Indianapolis right-hander Beau Sulser (7-7, 4.81). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. CT with the Sarpy County Tourism Pregame Show on 1180 The Zone.
The Storm Chasers final home game in 2021 will be on Sunday, September 26. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Omaha manager Brian Poldberg, who announced his retirement from managing on Thursday, will be honored before the game.
For tickets and more information, visit omahastormchasers.com or call the Werner Park Ticket Office at (402) 738-5100 and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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