Release and photo courtesy Chicago Dogs
Rosemont, Ill. — Chicago Dogs 1B Keon Barnum, the American Association’s 2019 Player of the Year, he has been selected as the top player in all of independent baseball, being named Baseball America’s Independent Baseball Player of the Year, the outlet announced.
In Barnum’s first season with the Dogs, he paved his way through the history books, breaking the league’s single-season home run record.
Barnum smashed 31 home runs and also led the league in slugging percentage (.635), OPS (1.030), extra-base hits (58) and total bases (237), while ranking second with 90 RBI. He paced the Dogs with a .311 batting average and 116 hits.
Barnum is just the third American Association player to earn the national award — and the first since 2013, when Baseball America chose C.J. Ziegler of the Wichita Wingnuts. It was Ziegler who previously held the Association’s home run record, a mark that stood until September 1.
In 2012, the Chicago White Sox selected Barnum in the first round of the MLB Draft (48th overall). Barnum, a Tampa, Fla., native, climbed his way up the White Sox farm system and reached the Double-A level, with the Birmingham Barons, in 2016. During his final year in Birmingham, 2018, the first baseman racked up 15 home runs and 44 RBI.
The 2019 season was Barnum’s first in the American Association, and he keyed the Dogs to a 59-41 record, the best finish in franchise history.
Barnum is spending the offseason playing for Los Mayos de Navojoa in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. His seven home runs and 32 RBI lead the team.