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June 13, 2012Player of the Year
Willie De la Barcena, Marshall Jr. SS
Playing for a lesser-known school in a section that's often an afterthought in the Southern California baseball scene might mask some of the publicity, but there's no hiding the face that De la Barcena had a phenomenal year. The junior played the most physically demanding position on the diamond, yet finished the year with a .435 batting average, 40 RBIs, 38 runs scored, seven homers, 13 steals and a .898 slugging percentage. What's might even be more impressive was De la Barcena's plate discipline, as the junior slugger struck out only six times this season, walking 11 times.
Barcena was also a model of consistency for the Barristers this year, beginning the season on a 19-game hitting streak for Marshall. The junior also displayed unusual power for his middle infield position, with 33 of his 47 hits coming for extra-bases. With another season to go, it'll be interesting to watch De la Barcena's development. If he can become a tad more consistent in the field, he could become a selection in next year's MLB Draft.
Pitcher of the Year
Johnny Munoz, Arleta Sr. LHP
Munoz struggled with consistency as a senior and was let down time and time again but a shoddy defense, but when he was on, he was light's out. The senior left-hander posted a sparkling 0.35 ERA on the season, allowing just three earned runs in 60 innings pitched. However, Munoz allowed 30 unearned runs. A lot of that falls on the Mustangs' defense, which was downright terrible at times this season, but some of the blame falls on Munoz for letting errors get to his psyche.
What you can't argue, however, was Munoz's awesome ability to miss bats. The 6-foot-3 southpaw struck out 91 batters, averaging a strikeout and a half per inning, and arguably had the best stuff in the City Section. In a stretch of five starts in late March and Early April, Munoz K'd 49 batters, showing the type of dominating stuff that could make him a sleeper at the collegiate level.
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