Four Pacifics Awarded Defensive Player of the Year
Zack Pace, Daniel Gonzalez, Chase Tucker, and JR Bunda Honored
San Rafael, CA —
The Pacific Association today honored Pacifics centerfielder Zack Pace, shortstop Daniel Gonzalez , second baseman Chase Tucker, and pitcher JR Bunda with Defensive Player of the Year awards for their respective positions.
Pace, who has captured the award for a league-record three straight years, recorded 163 putouts while committing only three errors in 78 games played. The Newark, Calif. native and Sonoma State University graduate batted .234 and reached base at a .431 clip.
Gonzalez was the selection at shortstop for the second consecutive season. In his fourth year with the Pacifics, Gonzalez recorded 110 putouts and 211 assists, both league-bests, while boasting a fielding percentage of .950 – the top figure among shortstops with more than 50 games played. The 27-year-old Albuquerque, New Mexico product added 13 doubles and 28 runs batted into his season.
Both Pace and Gonzalez announced their retirement following the conclusion of the 2016 season.
In his first full season with the Pacifics, Tucker won his first Defensive Player of the Year award at second base. Tucker led all Pacific Association second basemen with 138 putouts and 211 assists and committed only eight errors for a .978 fielding percentage. Tucker also put together a productive year at the plate, hitting .293 with four home runs and 36 RBI.
Bunda, who served as the closer for the Pacifics in 2016, was tabbed as the league’s best defensive pitcher. In 27 appearances, Bunda didn’t commit an error while finishing with league-leading marks in saves (11) and wins (8). He also struck out 38 batters and walked only eight in 33 innings. Bunda was one of five players on the 2016 Pacifics who were promoted to higher levels of baseball when he signed with the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association in early August.
“The overall defense in the Pacific Association in 2016 was better than we’ve ever seen,” said Pacifics President and General Manager Mike Shapiro. “The Pacifics have always been built around solid defense up the middle and these awards to Zack, Daniel, Chase, and JR underscore how this franchise prides itself on defense. For Zack and Daniel, whose careers have been highlighted by their stellar play in the field, it’s fitting that their final professional seasons would be capped by defensive recognition. I couldn’t be happier that all four of these players were recognized by the league.”
The rest of the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year awards were awarded to Mason Morikoa (Sonoma) at catcher, Lydell Moseby (Vallejo) at first base, Gerald Bautista (Vallejo) at third, Mark Hurley (Sonoma) in left field, and Tim Williams (Vallejo) in right field.
2016 Pacific Association Defensive Players of the Year
|Pitcher||JR Bunda, San Rafael|
|Catcher||Mason Morioka, Sonoma|
|1st Base||Lydell Moseby, Vallejo|
|2nd Base||Chase Tucker, San Rafael|
|3rd Base||Gerald Bautista, Vallejo|
|Shortstop||Daniel Gonzalez, San Rafael|
|Left Field||Mark Hurley, Sonoma|
|Center Field||Zack Pace, San Rafael|
Tim Williams, Vallejo
The Pacific Association voting was comprised of league front office personnel, managers, coaches, and broadcasters. The league will announce additional awards, including the prestigious Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year awards over the coming weeks according to the following schedule:
Rookie of the Year: Wednesday, October 26
Reliever of the Year: Monday, October 31
Manager of the Year: Wednesday, November 2
Pitcher of the Year: Monday, November 7
Most Valuable Player: Wednesday, November 9