The American Association announced on Monday that RailCats outfielder Colin Willis has been named the Pointstreak Player of the Week for the week ending August 18th. Willis is the first RailCat to be named the American Association Pointstreak Player of the Week for the 2019 season and is second time in his career he’s garnered the award.
Willis slashed .500/.552/1.083/1.635 with eight runs, 12 hits, four doubles, two triples, two home runs, five RBIs, three walks (one intentional) and a hit by pitch over seven games last week. Willis’ best day of the week was arguably on Wednesday after posting a career-high 12 total bases and finishing a double shy of the cycle vs. the Texas AirHogs. Willis went 4-for-5 that night with three runs, three RBIs, two home runs, a triple and a single. The multi-home run game was his second this season and the third of his career.
Willis’ hot week continued on Friday vs. the Milwaukee Milkmen after the Sheboygan, Wis., native finished the night 3-for-3 with a season-high three doubles, a run and a walk. Willis reached base safely in three of his four plate appearances on Saturday in the series finale vs. the Milkmen and closed out the week 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI double on Sunday in the series opener vs. the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
Willis was named an American Association Midseason All-Star for the first time this season and was named the All-Star Game MVP on July 23rd after going 2-for-2 with two RBIs, a run and a double off the bench for the North Division in a 7-3 comeback win over the South Division at CHS Field. The All-Star Game MVP nod was the first by a RailCat since Gary joined the American Association in 2011 and is just the second in franchise history (Jay Pecci, 2008 Northern League All-Star Game).
Willis currently leads the American Association with 63 walks and a 1.000 stolen base percentage, is second with a .441 on-base percentage and seven triples, and is fifth with a .545 slugging percentage and 39 extra-base hits. Willis also leads the RailCats in games (83), starts (83), at-bats (246), plate appearances (358), batting average (.315), OPS (.987), runs (62), hits (90), doubles (22), home runs (10), RBIs (58), total bases (158), stolen bases (14), multi-hit games (28), multi-run games (13), multi-RBI games (13), multi-home run games (two) and multi-walk games (11).
Willis was named the American Association Pointstreak Player of the Week for the first time in his career for the week ending on June 10th, 2018, after slashing .440/.533/.800/.1.333 with five runs, five walks, three doubles, two home runs and six RBIs. Willis also recorded his first career multi-home run game, including a go-ahead, three-run home run on the final day of the week against Fargo-Moorhead.
Willis slashed .297/.385/.448/.834 with a team-high 98 hits, 50 RBIs, 148 total bases and 48 walks in a career-high 92 games in 2018. Willis also finished with a team-high-tying nine home runs and reached base safely in a career-high 34 straight games (third longest in the American Association).
Willis was named the American Association Rookie of the Year in 2017 after finishing seventh in the league with a .319 batting average (first among rookies) and led the RailCats with eight home runs, 54 runs, 145 total bases, a .407 on-base percentage, a .482 slugging percentage, an .889 OPS and 29 multi-hit games. Willis originally signed his first professional baseball contract with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League in the spring of 2016 before signing his first American Association contract with Gary on Aug. 18, 2016. In 11 games (39 at-bats) with the RailCats, Willis batted .231 with three extra-base hits, five RBIs and three runs.
Gary resumes its three-game road series on Monday night at 7:10 p.m. vs. Fargo-Moorhead. RailCats’ rookie left-hander Seth Hougesen (3-2, 5.08) opposes RedHawks’ right-hander Michael Tamburino (6-5, 3.56) in the middle game of the series.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Wednesday for a three-game home series vs. St. Paul. Wednesday’s series opener vs. the Saints is at 6:45 p.m. and is the last Creekside “Pop-Up Bar Wednesday”, celebrating Golden Girls, and NorthShore Health Centers Wednesday of the season. Visit any Northwest Indiana NorthShore Health Center for complimentary tickets to a Wednesday RailCats game.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.