Durham, N.C. – St. Paul Saints C Vinny DiFazio was named the American Association’s 2015 Player of the Year on Thursday, in a vote of league managers and media members.
In his first full season with the Saints, DiFazio led the league with a .361 batting average, third-highest in Saints franchise history, to go along with a .462 on-base percentage and .592 slugging percentage, both league highs. In addition, the 29-year-old tied teammate Angelo Songco for the American Association lead and set a St. Paul franchise record with 82 RBI, and tied for third with 17 home runs.
DiFazio also earned league All-Star honors at catcher in a season that saw the Saints steamroll to a 74-26 record, winning the North Division by 26.5 games. The native of Hampton, N.J., joined St. Paul late in the 2014 season after playing most of the year with the Grand Prairie AirHogs. Prior to the American Association, DiFazio spent four seasons in the Texas Rangers’ organization after being chosen in the 12th round of the 2009 draft out of the University of Alabama.
DiFazio is the first member of the Saints, as well as the first catcher, to be chosen as Player of the Year in American Association history.
American Association Players of the Year
2015: C Vinny DiFazio, St. Paul
2014: OF Brent Clevlen, Wichita
2013: 1B C.J. Ziegler, Wichita
2012: OF Nic Jackson, Fargo-Moorhead
2011: OF Lee Cruz, Amarillo
2010: OF Beau Torbert, Sioux Falls
2009: OF Greg Porter, Wichita
2008: OF Beau Torbert, Sioux Falls
2007: INF Jorge Alvarez, El Paso
2006: 1B Pichi Balet, Lincoln