It’s a great day to be a Midland RockHound. Not only did they clinch a third, straight playoff berth Tuesday night, they got some, well-deserved pats on the back from the Texas League.
In addition to Ryan Christenson being named Manager of the Year and Matt Chapman, player of the Year, Franklin Barreto and Beau Taylor were selected to the 2016 All-Star Team. Barreto played his last game with the RockHounds, Tuesday. He was transferred to Nashville. Taylor is catcher for the Hounds and was a member of the last two championship teams and is the Texas League's third-leading hitter. He says they need to stay focused, but likes the idea of winning another championship.
“We're facing a very good ball club, right now. They're not going out there, just trying to like, okay, our season's kind of done. I think they're going to still try to win, of course. I think we should just keep playing the same baseball and carry that on, into the playoffs. We're here for a reason, right now. I mean, why not go for three rings? It feels great going too, we have the team that can do it. Everybody is here to win it, right now,” said Taylor.
Matt Chapman is the seventh player, in franchise history, to be named Player of the Year. Ryan Christenson is the fifth manager, in 45 years, to get Manager of the Year. This is the third time, in franchise history, the Hounds get both, Manager and Player of the Year. The others were in 2005 and 2009.
The RockHounds went on to win the Texas League Championship, both of those years. No team, in the modern era, has won three, consecutive, league championships. The Waco Navigators won three straight, exactly 100 years ago.