Winner to be announced on Fan Appreciation Day October 10
(Central Islip, N.Y., Sept. 15, 2021) – The Long Island Ducks and Delmonte-Smelson Jewelers have teamed up to present the 2021 Long Island Ducks MVP Award. Fans can vote once per day from now through Saturday, October 9, for the Duck they believe should be this year’s Most Valuable Player.
The player with the most fan votes will receive a commemorative gift from Delmonte-Smelson Jewelers prior to the Ducks game against the York Revolution on Sunday, October 10, which is Fan Appreciation Day, presented by Coca-Cola.
The following are this year’s nominees, listed alphabetically by last name (stats through September 14):
Infielder Vladimir Frias
Frias returned to the Ducks at the beginning of July and has turned in outstanding numbers since rejoining the Flock for a second season. The infielder has played in 63 games and is tied for the team lead in triples (2), ranks second in doubles (18), and is third in hits (82), total bases (125), runs scored (58) and stolen bases (15). He has posted a .311 batting average along with a .385 on-base percentage and .473 slugging percentage while totaling seven home runs and 45 RBIs. Frias compiled the Ducks longest on-base streak of the season (25 games, July 17-August 17). Since his return, Long Island has compiled a 40-26 record.
Right-Handed Pitcher Joe Iorio
Iorio is seeking his second consecutive Ducks Team MVP award after winning the honor during the 2019 Atlantic League championship season. The right-hander leads the Flock and ranks second in the league with 10 wins, trailing only Southern Maryland’s Daryl Thompson (12). He also leads the Flock and ranks fifth in the league with 103.2 innings pitched. The Long Island native is seventh in the league with a 4.77 ERA and eighth in WHIP (1.50) while making the third-most starts in the league (18).
Infielder Steve Lombardozzi
Lombardozzi has been one of the Ducks most consistent hitters this season. The infielder leads all Ducks in games played (95), 15 more than any other player on the roster. He also leads the Flock in hits (117), total bases (179), doubles (21), RBIs (66), runs scored (80), walks (72) and on-base percentage (.438). Additionally, he’s tied for the team lead in home runs (13) while ranking second in batting average (.326), stolen bases (17) and slugging percentage (.507). On the league leaderboard, he is first in walks, second in games and at bats (353), third in hits, fourth in runs, sixth in total bases, and eighth in doubles and on-base percentage. Defensively, he has made just three errors all season.
Outfielder L.J. Mazzilli
Mazzilli has been nominated for this award for a second consecutive season. The outfielder leads all Ducks hitters with a .330 batting average, which is tied for ninth in the Atlantic League. He is second among all Ducks players in hits (94), total bases (128), RBIs (58), runs scored (64) and walks (39) as well as third in stolen bases, going a perfect 15-for-15. The former Mets draft pick put together the Ducks longest hitting streak (19 games, June 20-July 13) and on-base streak (25 games, June 20-July 20) this season. Mazzilli has made just three errors and has six outfield assists this season.
Catcher Hector Sanchez
Sanchez has done a magnificent job behind the plate this season, helping the Ducks hold the title of the Atlantic League’s top pitching staff with a 4.82 ERA, over a third of a run better than any other team. He has also made just two errors behind home plate and has thrown out 39% of runners trying to steal (18-of-46). Offensively, the seven-year MLB veteran is tied for the team lead with 13 home runs, ranks third with 53 RBIs and sits fourth with 109 total bases. Sanchez was sizzling at the plate in the second half, posting a .304 batting average during the month of August and hitting .406 with a .472 on-base percentage in September.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball, and play their home games at Fairfield Properties Ballpark. For further information, visit LIDucks.com or call (631) 940-DUCK (3825).