Aviators second baseman, Tanner Witt, has been awarded the Jason Simontacci Award that is given to the top rookie in the league. This is the first time an Aviators player has earned Rookie of the Year honors.
A rookie out of Kansas State University, Witt has posted a batting average of .301 with four home runs and 38 RBIs this season. He also leads the team in hits with 107.
"Tanner has really been a blessing to us this season," said Aviators Manager, James Frisbie. "He came in as a center-fielder and a relief pitcher, but we needed him at second base and he has been great for us there all season."
Witt saw time at every position on the field except for first base and catcher this season. He appeared in one game of relief as a pitcher where he pithed an inning and a third while allowing one hit, walking two batters, striking out one, and not allowing a run to score.
"[Tanner] has really worked well with Pat O'Sullivan, our hitting coach, this season and it has really shown on the field," said Frisbie.
Three of Witt's four home runs this season have come in the second half. At the All-Star Break, Witt was hitting just .266 with one home run and sixteen RBIs. His batting average reached as high as .312 this season. He also racked up two, sixteen game hit streaks since the break.
"Sully just helped me and kept working with me throughout the season," said Witt. "Whenever I needed extra swings and stuff like that he was always there to help and watch. He has been a big help in my success this season."
Witt is unsure of what the future holds for him after this season, but expects to continue to improve on his game.
"I want to finish the season off good, win a few games, continue to play well and hopefully that transfers into next season," said Witt.
Aviators athletic trainer, Rebecca McFeaters, was awarded the Frontier League's Athletic Trainer of the Year Award for her service to Aviators players this season.
"Rebecca has gone above and beyond for this team this season," said Frisbie. "She has been diligent and is always one step ahead in letting me know about our guys and letting me know if they are able to go or not. She has been great in helping keep our guys in top form and helping them recover quickly."
McFeaters is currently employed by OSF Saint Anthony, but serves as the Aviators athletic trainer during the season. She has been a part of the Frontier League for four seasons, two with the Washington Wild Things and the past two seasons with the Aviators. This is her first Frontier League award.
Voting for the Frontier League Postseason Awards was voted on by General Managers, coaching staffs, and local media from all of the Frontier League's markets.