MOST VALUABLE KNIGHT…
Steve Tolleson is a South Carolina native who had the opportunity to play in front of family and friends in 2013. As a member of the Charlotte Knights for the entire season, Tolleson took that opportunity and turned in a successful season. With all of his accomplishments this year, Tolleson is my pick for Knights MVP.
A product of the University of South Carolina, Tolleson represented the Knights at the Triple-A All-Star Game earlier this season. The Spartanburg native finished the season by leading the Knights in a number of offensive categories. He appeared in a team-high 116 games and went on to lead the Knights in batting average (.288), hits (113), total bases (167), walks (59), and on-base percentage (.381).
Overall, Tolleson hit .288 with eight home runs and 53 RBIs in 116 games. Tolleson ranked second in doubles (28), and second in RBIs (53) — both behind Brent Morel — who led the Knights in both categories.
The 29-year-old played six positions on Joel Skinner’s squad, including second base, third base, shortstop, left field, right field, and designated hitter. As a second baseman (the position he played the most games at, 37), Tolleson hit .342 (40-for-117) with 16 runs scored, eight doubles, three home runs, 24 RBIs, and five stolen bases. His versatility made it easy for Skinner to plug him into the lineup on a daily basis.
Three players tied for the longest hitting streak of the season (12) by a Knights player in 2013 (Tolleson, Tyler Greene, and Mike McDade). Tolleson’s 12-game streak lasted from June 25 to July 7. Tolleson also finished tied for second on the team in multi-hit games with Carlos Sanchez. Their 27 were two less than Brent Morel’s 29.
Tolleson hit one of the Charlotte’s two grand slams this season. His grand slam came on June 6 in Pawtucket against the PawSox.
It was a special season in Fort Mill for Tolleson. His dad Wayne, a 10-year Major League veteran, was on-hand to watch his son a number of occasions. Steve was a fan-favorite at the ballpark and for his hard work and stellar play, he was the Most Valuable Knight of the 2013 season.
Runner-Up: Josh Phegley. The hard-hitting, defensive-minded backstop from Terre Haute, Indiana, was off to a remarkable start to the 2013 season. He had a marvelous May — recording a .356 batting average with seven home runs and 19 RBIs. Overall, in 61 games for the Knights, he hit .316 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs. On July 5, Phegley was recalled to Chicago and has been with the White Sox ever since.
Up Next: Most Valuable Knights Pitcher & Knights Rookie of the Year…