IBL Broadcasters Announce League All-Stars
Despite an underachieving season in terms of team success, the Kitchener Panthers had several players put up impressive individual campaigns and this was recognized by the IBL Broadcasters who announced their IBL Broadcaster All-Star Selections on Tuesday and gave the nod to three Panthers Players.
First Baseman Liam Wilson, Outfielder Andy Leader and Outfielder Blake Jacklin were all selected by the broadcasters as 2nd Team All Stars following their strong campaigns. This is the first year IBL broadcasters have announced their own All-Star selections. The IBL will also be announcing their annual All-Star selections in the near future. The trio of Panthers have proven to be consistent over the past two seasons as Wilson (1st Team), Leader (2nd Team) and Jacklin (2nd Team) were IBL League All-Stars in 2021.
Andy Leader had a breakout season in 2022, batting .362 with 6 home runs, 35 RBI and 51 hits in 141 at bats and set a career high in basically all offensive categories. His slugging percentage came in at .525 and on base percentage at .416 for an OPS of .941. Leader ranked 7th in the league in batting average. His defensive season was equally as impressive as he made only 1 error while making several brilliant catches throughout the season in Center Field. Leader has really came into his own over the past few seasons, cementing himself as one of the top players in the IBL.
Blake Jacklin had a huge sophomore campaign as the St Jacobs resident had a .371 average, 4 home runs, 30 RBI, 36 runs scored and 52 hits in 140 at bats, with many of these totals being career highs. Blake had a .409 OBP and .521 slugging percentage for a .930 OPS. His .371 batting average was enough to place him at 4th in the league. Jacklin’s young IBL career is off to a brilliant start as he continues to develop in all aspects of his game and projects to be an All-Star in the Panthers lineup for years to come.
Liam Wilson had a monster season for the Panthers, posting his third season in a row with a batting average above .400. He had a career high .440 average with 7 home runs, 36 RBI and 13 doubles in 91 at bats, appearing in 26 games. Wilson’s slugging percentage was a sizzling .813 and his On Base Percentage rang in at a dominant .522 for an OPS of 1.335. Wilson narrowly missed the cutoff for plate appearances to be considered in several league leader categories but would have been the league leader in Batting Average, On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage and OPS had he qualified. Striking out only 5 times on the season, Wilson had a league low At Bats per Strikeout ratio and also led the league with a 2.6 Base on Balls to Strikeouts ratio. Wilson was equally as impressive on the defensive side of the ball, sporting a perfect fielding percentage for the second season in a row and placing himself amongst the top fielders in the league.
With a strong core of players to build around, the Panthers Management is already hard at work this offseason to make sure the team returns to its winning ways in the 2023 season.