GRESHAM, Oregon – Gresham GreyWolves Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. (Cal), Ryan Smith (Southern Illinois) and Konnor Zickefoose (UC Irvine) garnered All-West Coast League Second Team recognition, the league announced on Monday. All three of the second team selections for Gresham batted at least .300 on the year. Mark Cardinalli (UC Davis) and Donavon Ramirez (Cal State East Bay) were named honorable mentions for the league. Three of the five honorees (Mitchell, Smith, Cardinalli) earned West Coast League Player of the Week honors at some point amid Gresham’s inaugural season.
All-WCL Second Team
Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. had the hottest start to the season of not only any Gresham player, but any West Coast League player. The outfielder earned WCL Player of the Week recognition in the first week of the season — a week in which he hit .550 (11-for-20). He began the year with a 4-for-5 performance in the GreyWolves’ first WCL game and didn’t look back.
Flip the calendar to August, and Mitchell ended the 2016 campaign with a .312 average — second among GreyWolves and fifth in the league. Mitchell was second in the WCL in on-base percentage (.412) and had the league’s top stolen base mark — a perfect 13-for-13. He was one of just seven players in the West Coast League this season to have multiple games of four or more hits. Mitchell, of course, was also honored mid-season with a WCL All-Star selection. In the All-Star game, Mitchell was in contention for the game’s MVP award with three hits and two RBIs.
Ryan Smith earned the league’s ‘Iron Man’ tag by competing in a league-high 53 games on the year. But Smith didn’t just simply play in games, he made an impact in games. The outfielder led Gresham and was third in the league with a .320 batting average. While Mitchell began the year with the WCL Player of the Week accolade, Smith capped it off with the recognition in the last week of the season.
Smith was among the West Coast League’s leaders in a handful of categories including runs scored (3rd, 34), hits (2nd, 56), doubles (2nd, 11), walks drawn (1st, 35) and on-base percentage (1st, .448). And roving the outfield — primarily center field — for over 425 innings, Smith made just one error and posted the most put outs in the WCL. Smith also garnered All-Star recognition at the season’s halfway point.
Konnor Zickefoose was the GreyWolves third and final member of the .300 batting average club, and he also earned WCL Second Team honors. The third baseman who played his freshman year of baseball at Chapman but will move on to UC Irvine, batted exactly .300 on the season in 39 games, collecting seven doubles and a triple along the way.
Just a day before the All-Star break, Zickefoose had a four-hit game in his strongest performance of the season. Against the WCL’s top club, the Victoria HarbourCats, Zickefoose willed Gresham to an impressive win in the series rubber match as the GreyWolves continued their second half roll. He also scored 23 runs on the season, a mark which ranked third on the club.
Mark Cardinalli was one of the West Coast League’s hottest hitters in the final month of the season, hitting .339 post-All-Star break. He earned WCL Player of the Week recognition for the final week of July, extending a hitting streak to 12 games and going 9-for-18 (.500) over the course of the week. His 12-game hit streak was the fourth-longest in the WCL this season, and his 12-game hit streak at Oslund Field was the longest home game hitting streak in the league in 2016. With seven doubles, three triples and three home runs, the GreyWolves slugger accumulated a .449 slugging percentage which ranked third in the WCL. Along with Mitchell, Cardinalli was one of just seven players to have multiple four-hit games on the year.
Donavon Ramirez was the lone All-WCL member of Gresham’s pitching staff, posting a 2.20 ERA in 11 games on the season. His ERA ranked ninth in the WCL. Over 49.0 innings of work, Ramirez limited opponents to just 12 earned runs, posting a 4-3 record. Ramirez logged 33 strikeouts on the year.