Jordan Castaldo left little doubt who was the best player in the Intercounty Baseball League this season.
Which is why it comes as no surprise on Tuesday the Barrie Baycats first baseman was named the Rawlings IBL Most Valuable Player of the Year for 2019.
Castaldo, who lead Barrie to a sixth-straight Dominico Cup title and became the first player in the Baycats 18-year history to earn the IBL’s Triple Crown, dominated voting with 35 first-place votes. The Toronto native completed the rare Triple Crown by leading the league in batting average (.453), home runs (15) and runs batted in (47) over 37 regular season games.
Castaldo, who spent three years at Connors State College in Oklahoma before going to Arkansas State University for his junior and senior seasons, set career marks in all three hitting categories.
The 10-year veteran, who was one of four Baycats named to the IBL’s first all-star team, gave all those that helped him en route to his Triple Crown a shout out on his Instagram before the playoffs back in early August.
“It wasn’t a goal, it wasn’t intentional,” Castaldo wrote. “It just happened and I appreciate all of you that grinded it out with me.”
This year’s IBL Rookie of the Year goes to Welland Jackfish first baseman Brendon Dadson, who finished with a .321 batting average and had a homer to go along with 19 RBI’s.
Dadson finished just three votes ahead of runner up Ryan Santos, an outfielder with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Joining Castaldo on the first all-star team were Starlin Rodriquez (2B), Kevin Atkinson (3B) and Adrian Salcedo (RHP).
Also named to the first team were C Justin Marra (Toronto), SS Yorbis Borroto (Kitchener), DH Sean Reilly, OF Justin Gideon (Hamilton), OF Marcus Knecht (Toronto), OF Tanner Nivins (Kitchener), LHP Chris Lazar (Hamilton) and manager Dean Castelli (Hamilton).
Barrie designated hitter Ryan Rijo and veteran outfielder Ryan Spataro were named to the IBL’s second all-star team. Joining them were C Mike Ambrose (London), 2B Josh Garton (Guelph), 3B Angel Villalona (Guelph), SS Wilson Soriano (Welland), OF Brian Burton (Kitchener), OF Ismael Pena (London), RHP Euclides Leyer (Welland), LHP Yoennis Yera (Kitchener), manager Luke Baker (Kitchener) Santos and Dadson.