DURHAM, NC – When it comes to power and production, nobody in the American Association could match C.J. Ziegler (pictured). The Wingnuts’ first baseman set a new league record with 30 home runs, led the circuit with 99 RBI and helped drive Wichita to a Central Division title with the best record in American Association history. As a result, Ziegler has been voted the 2013 American Association Player of the Year.
Anchoring the middle of Wichita’s order, Ziegler was a constant threat. Not only did he lead the league in home runs and RBI, he also finished fourth in the American Association with 32 doubles. But, Ziegler was not purely a power hitter. The first baseman batted .318 this season, all while being an iron man for Wichita by playing all 100 games.
Along the way, Ziegler compiled two Pointstreak Player of the Week awards. At the end of June, the slugger put together a 10-for-22 (.455) stretch, in which he drove home 14 runs. Over that six-game span, Ziegler hit three home runs and two doubles. That week was certainly impressive, but it was nothing compared to the next time Ziegler earned the award.
On Wednesday, August 21, Ziegler hit for the cycle in a 4-for-6 night at Gary SouthShore. To make the feat more noteworthy, Ziegler’s home run that night tied the American Association record, at that time held by Sioux Falls’ Brandon Sing with 27 in 2010. Later in the week, Ziegler belted two more home runs to break the record. The cleanup hitter finished the remarkable week with a .552 average and 14 RBI.
Photo courtesy of the Wichita Wingnuts