Monday morning, the West Coast League announced its 2019 All-League Honors and award recipients.
AppleSox pitcher Jake Saum earned first-team honors. Catcher Hunter Montgomery, shortstop Kody Darcy and outfielder Ryan Altenberger all earned second-team honors. Blake Klassen, Kodie Kolden, Seth Kuykendall, Cole McKenzie and Johnny Sage all received honorable mentions.
Saum, an incoming freshman at UCLA, went 4-1 with a 2.80 ERA in nine games, seven starts. He tossed at least five innings in all seven of his starts including a season-high eight on Aug. 7 against Ridgefield. Saum struck out 54 batters, sixth-most in the WCL, and punched out a season-high 10 batters on July 11 against Bend. He was one of four AppleSox All-Stars and also started Game 1 of the North Division Series against Victoria on Aug. 13. Saum tossed seven shutout innings and struck out 10 to lead the AppleSox to a 5-1 victory over the HarbourCats.
Montgomery, an incoming junior at Portland, hit .230 with 5 HR and 26 RBI in 38 games. He primarily caught or DH’d, but also saw brief action at first and made on appearance on the mound. Montgomery’s five homers were third on the team and his 26 RBI tied for second. His 14 extra-base hits were second-most on the AppleSox. Montgomery’s finest game was a 4-for-5 effort against Cowlitz on June 28. The catcher hit a home run, stole a base, scored two runs and drove in four in a 10-2 AppleSox victory. Montgomery would drive in four runs two more times on July 14 and 16, the latter of which he hit his only grand slam of the season.
Darcy, an incoming sophomore at Xavier, hit .305 with 6 HR and 27 RBI in 39 games. He played all four infield positions and even pitched once. He led the Sox with 27 RBI while his six home runs tied for the team lead and he recorded 12 multi-hit games, four of which were three-hit efforts. Darcy both tied and set the AppleSox single-season team home-run record with his fifth and sixth bombs of the year. His best game of the year was on July 11 when he he went 3-for-4 with 7 RBI and finished a single short of the cycle.
Altenberger, an incoming junior at Xavier, hit .289 with 6 HR and 26 RBI in 43 games. He played every position on the field except for first base and catcher. Altenberger finished seventh in the WCL in walks with 31 and recorded eight multi-walk games. He tied for the team-lead in home runs and led the AppleSox in extra-base hits with 16. Altenberger was one of four AppleSox All-Stars and he reached base three times, homered and drove in four in the mid-summer classic. His finest effort of the season came on July 17 against Kelowna when he went 2-for-3 with two walks, a home run, a run scored, and 3 RBI in a 6-4 win.
Klassen, an incoming freshman at Arizona, hit .338 with 1 HR and 25 RBI in 44 games. He recorded 14 multi-hit games and ended the season on a 20-game on-base streak. Klassen’s .338 batting average was fourth-best among qualified WCL hitters and his .455 on-base percentage was second-best. He led the AppleSox with 36 runs and five sacrifice flies and tied for the team-lead with 13 stolen bases. Klassen’s seven hit by pitches and 27 walks were both second-most on the AppleSox. His 3-for-4 effort with 1 RBI and two stolen bases against Yakima Valley on June 9 was his best game of the summer.
Kolden, an incoming sophomore at Washington State, hit .290 with 3 HR and 26 RBI in 42 games. He played second, short, third, left field and even pitched once. Kolden led the AppleSox in at-bats (169) and hits (49) and finished second in doubles (10) and third in stolen bases (12). He recorded a team-best 11-game hitting streak from July 9-21, batting .365 (19-for-52) over it and seven of his 15 multi-hit games this summer came during the streak. Kolden’s best game was a 3-for-5 effort against Kelowna in which he reached base four times, homered, doubled, walked drove in two and scored four times.
Kuykendall, an incoming junior at Western Oregon, went 2-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 10 games, six starts. He tossed at least five innings in all six of his starts and tossed six in Game 2 of the Division Series. The right-hander punched put 43 batters in 41.1 innings and struck out a season-high seven batters four times. Despite allowing seven hits and two walks on July 12, Kuykendall still struck out seven in six scoreless innings for his best start of the season. Before joining the rotation, Kuykendall tossed at least three innings of relief in two of his four relief outings.
McKenzie, an incoming senior at Purdue, hit .370 with 1 HR and 12 RBI in 29 games. He started in center field and batted third in every game that he played in, providing a steady middle-of-the-order bat and defender. Though he didn’t qualify for the WCL batting title, McKenzie did lead all AppleSox batters that played at least 10 games. He tied for third in the WCL in hit by pitches with eight. McKenzie recorded at least one hit in all but six games and collected 12 multi-hit games, four of which were three-hit efforts. He earned a berth in the 2019 WCL All-Star Game, but did not play due to injury. McKenzie’s best game came on July 3 against Kelowna when he went 3-for-5 with a double, a hit by pitch, two runs and 2 RBI.
Sage, an incoming senior at Purdue, hit .327 with 1 HR and 26 RBI in 37 games. He led the AppleSox with 17 multi-hit games and reached base in all of his final 24 games. Sage also led the AppleSox with 11 doubles and tied for the most stolen bases with 13. His .327 batting average was eighth-best in the WCL, marking the second consecutive summer that he finished in the top 10 in the league in batting. On Aug. 2, Sage became the second recipient of the AppleSox’ Tommy Watanabe Award and his best game was four days prior when he went 3-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored in a 7-6 win over Portland.
Below is a full look at previous AppleSox award-winners in the WCL.