20th Anniversary Team Voting – Outfield (Week 4)
19 seasons of Long Island Ducks baseball have come and gone. Players from all around the world and of all varieties of baseball experience have worn the Ducks uniform since the first pitch on April 28, 2000. In that time, they have played in front of nearly 8 million fans in Central Islip, and millions more around the rest of the country. Those players and coaches have also earned three Atlantic League Championships, seven Division Championships, 13 half-season Division Championships and over 1,300 victories. As the Ducks 20th Anniversary Season, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, approaches, it is time to determine which members of the Flock have stood above the rest.
Our final week of outfielder voting has descended upon us! We have had three exciting weeks thus far, with fans casting hundreds of ballots each week to help determine the first three outfielders on the 20th Anniversary Team. However, any good squad needs to have depth in the outfield. Couple that with the litany of terrific outfielders that have worn the Ducks uniform, and that is why we have decided to include a fourth outfield spot among this exclusive group. Our final three nominees for the position all have won at least one Atlantic League championship with the Ducks, and two of the three were instrumental in securing Long Island’s back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. Let’s take a look at the three candidates:
“Jason Johnson makes the catch! He makes the catch!” Chris King’s play-by-play call of Jason Johnson securing the final out of the Ducks 2004 Atlantic League Championship clincher is one that echoes through the annals of Ducks history. While that catch was certainly a momentous occasion in Johnson’s career, it certainly wasn’t the only highlight in his three-year stint with the Ducks. The California native debuted for the team during the 2003 season, and though he only appeared in 24 games, he made an immediate impact with a .305 batting average, 11 RBIs and 11 runs. One year later, he broke out in a big way en route to that long-awaited first playoff appearance and championship. In 100 regular season games, Johnson posted career-highs in home runs (11), RBIs (58), runs (78), triples (6) and stolen bases (36), the last of which led the Flock. The former Phillies draft pick would lead the Ducks to the postseason one more time in his final year of professional baseball, playing in 94 games during the 2005 campaign. He batted .281 with 41 RBIs, 44 runs, 20 doubles and 12 steals during that final season before hanging up the cleats. Johnson was a superb defender as well, making just seven errors in his three seasons manning right field.
Another Long Island native makes the list of nominees! Kraig Binick, a Chaminade High School and NYIT alum, joined the Flock in 2011 among a talented group of outfielders that included Matt Esquivel, Lew Ford, Kennard Jones and John Rodriguez. He hit in the ninth spot on Opening Day, but by season’s end, he was at or near the top of the lineup daily. Binick was comfortable from the get-go and went on to win the Atlantic League batting title with a .343 average. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.429), stolen base percentage (.894) and stolen bases (42). During a year in which the club won both the first and second half as well as a Liberty Division Championship, Binick represented the Ducks at the All-Star Game in York and was an Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star. The former Orioles draft pick played in 123 games the following season with Long Island, earned another All-Star Game selection, and lifted the Flock to an Atlantic League Championship behind a .405 batting average in the postseason. One year later, after beginning the season in Mexico, Binick returned to lead the Ducks to the second half title and another Atlantic League Championship. Defensively, he committed just nine errors over three seasons in which he played all three outfield positions. His clutch performances also increased his popularity among Ducks fans, as he compiled a .352 batting average in 26 postseason games.
The 2012 season saw the Ducks put together a dominating first half before injuries and player contract purchases took a toll on the roster. Amidst a challenging second half, the Ducks needed a bat and some versatility in the field for their playoff run. Meanwhile, Joash Brodin was dominating in the Frontier League, hitting .370. However, the team he played with folded, and Brodin needed a new home. It was a perfect match! The switch-hitter joined the team in late-July with the ability to play the corners in both the outfield and infield. He hit .282 over the season’s final 49 games and then torched the opposition to the tune of a .359 batting average in the playoffs, en route to a championship. Brodin returned to Long Island the following season and put together an All-Star campaign, batting .307 with 11 homers, 49 RBIs, 79 runs, 21 doubles and 14 stolen bases in 106 games. The performance was worthy of having his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and although he was unable to partake in the Ducks championship run, he had certainly made his impact upon the club. 2014 was Brodin’s final year with the club, and although his batting average dipped from where it was the previous two seasons, he still chipped in with nine homers, 60 RBIs, 21 doubles and 28 stolen bases over his 133 games.
The three nominees have been revealed, and a tight race is expected to wrap up our outfielder balloting. Cast your vote for Johnson, Binick or Brodin now by clicking the button below to visit our voting page. You can vote as many times as you’d like over the next week, but you can only choose one candidate on your ballot. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!
Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our three nominees for the designated hitter spot.
Posted on February 1, 2019, in 20th Anniversary Team and tagged 20th Anniversary Season, 20th Anniversary Team, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, Jason Johnson, Joash brodin, Kraig Binick, Long Island Ducks, Outfield, Voting. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.