The Sugar Land Skeeters announced late last month that infielder Denis Phipps has been named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the 2019 season.
Phipps, who was in his second season with the Skeeters, led the team with 21 home runs and 81 RBIs, and his .807 OPS led all Skeeters players with at least 300 at-bats. He was also second on the team with 124 games played.
Phipps’ 81 RBIs were fifth in the Atlantic League and his 21 home runs placed him in a tie for ninth in the league. He was also eighth in the league in runs scored (77) and eighth in walks (61).
The 34-year-old carried his prolific 2019 regular-season campaign into the postseason, leading all Atlantic League players with four home runs and was second with 10 RBIs. Phipps became the first player in Skeeters history to homer in three straight postseason games, accomplishing the feat between Game 3 of the Freedom Division Championship Series and Game 1 of the Atlantic League Championship Series.
In his first season with the Skeeters, Phipps had nine home runs and 37 RBIs in 98 games. Phipps set his career-high with 81 RBIs and his 21 homers were three shy of his career-high of 24 which he set in 2016 with the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association.
The Cincinnati Reds originally signed Phipps as an amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2004. He made his Major League debut with the Reds in 2012, hitting .300/.364/.700 with a home run and two RBIs in eight games.
Phipps has appeared at the affiliated minor league level with the Reds (2006-13) and Chicago White Sox (2014) and has appeared at the independent level with Lemurs and Texas AirHogs (American Association), along with the Skeeters. He’s currently playing for the Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan Winter League.
Beeler named Skeeters’ pitcher of the year
The Sugar Land Skeeters announced that right-hander Dallas Beeler has been named the team’s Pitcher of the Year for the 2019 season.
Beeler was 9-7 with a 3.86 ERA in 26 starts and struck out 97 batters to 53 walks in 144 2/3 innings pitched. He led the Skeeters in wins, starts and innings pitched. Beeler led Skeeters qualifiers and was tied for sixth in the Atlantic League in ERA. He was also tied for fifth in the league in innings pitched and was seventh in the league with a 1.52 WHIP.
Over the months of June and July, Beeler went 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA, helping lead the Skeeters to their second straight First Half Freedom Division Championship. Beeler also dominated at Constellation Field, going 4-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 13 home starts.
The 30-year-old native of Oklahoma was in his second season with the Skeeters and his ninth at the professional level. Beeler was 8-2 with a 2.29 ERA in 19 games (14 starts) with the Skeeters during the 2018 season. He also had his contract purchased by the Kansas City Royals in the midst of the 2018 season.
The Chicago Cubs originally drafted Beeler in the 41st round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Oral Roberts University. He made his Major League debut with the Cubs in 2014 and appeared with them at the MLB level in ‘15 as well, making five career appearances (all starts).