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Van Stratten honored



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The Sioux Falls Canaries outfielder has been named to Baseball America’s 2013 All-Independent Leagues Team, the magazine announced on Wednesday.

Van Stratten is the only Canaries player selected by the leading baseball industry publication for the prestigious recognition and one of 10 position players chosen from four independent leagues.  
The 28-year-old’s name is peppered across lists of 2013 statistical league leaders as the Canaries’ leadoff hitter. He led the circuit with 143 hits, and he finished second in the league with a .352 average, accompanied by six home runs and 54 RBI. He was third in total bases (214) and second in triples (14). In addition, he was second in the league with 12 outfield assists.

Van Stratten’s 14 triples were a new team single-season record, and his 143 hits were second most in one season by a Canaries hitter.

The former Kansas City Royals prospect from Birmingham, Mo., displayed remarkable consistency in his first season of independent baseball. He hit safely in 79 of 96 games played with 44 multi-hit games, a .404 on-base percentage and a .527 slugging percentage. He also had 25 stolen bases and posted a 17-game hitting streak in August that overshadowed two other nine-game streaks.

At the season’s end, Van Stratten was honored as an American Association Postseason All-Star. For July 8-14, Van Stratten was tabbed as a Batter of the Week.

Five other American Association players were also chosen for the Independent League All-Star team: Joe Harris (LHP, Fargo-Moorhead), Patrick Mincey (RHP, Grand Prairie), Abel Nieves (3B, Wichita), Taylor Stanton (RHP, Fargo-Moorhead), C.J. Ziegler (1B, Wichita). Ziegler was also tabbed as the Independent Player of the Year.

Right-handed pitcher Ben Moore was the last Sioux Falls player to be named to the All-Independent team in 2011.

Van Stratten is well-decorated from his seven professional seasons in the Royals organization. In 2009, he was tabbed as Player of the Year for Class A Burlington and as a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star. He was the Royals’ Arizona Fall League Player of the Year in 2006. He has also been a part of two league championships.
Van Stratten spent the bulk of 2012 with Class AA Northwest Arkansas. The Royals drafted Van Stratten in the 10th round of the 2006 draft out of St. Louis Community College. He is a native of St Louis.
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