While the most important AUDL award involves a big trophy and an unquantifiable championship prestige that can only be garnered as a team, the individual playmakers around the league also merit recognition. While MVP and All-AUDL honors will be announced in the coming weeks, the parade of individual honors starts now with some superlatives from the 2018 season.
During my seven years working in minor league baseball, I would always eagerly anticipate the results of Baseball America’s annual “Tools Survey.” Each season, the national publication would poll all of the minor league managers on the best players in various categories. This would lead to some fascinating observations about who had the best specifically-honed skills throughout the minors, and it showcased certain players for their greatest strengths.
Last season, prior to 2017 Championship Weekend, we published the first AUDL Tools Survey. The gimmick was well-received; hence, it returns today!
Over the past couple weeks, I have compiled the submissions of the majority of AUDL coaches to figure out the toolsiest players in each division. Since there’s only minimal cross-division exposure throughout the season, coaches were asked to share their opinions about their division exclusively. To encourage candor, anonymity was guaranteed.
We will unveil one division each day this week.
Best Handler: Jonathan Nethercutt, Raleigh Flyers
Best Hucks: Jonathan Nethercutt, Raleigh Flyers
Best Breaks: Brett Matzuka, Raleigh Flyers
Best Cutter: Jay Froude, Dallas Roughnecks
Best Deep Cutter: Jacob Fairfax, Raleigh Flyers
Best Underneath Cutter: Chase Cunningham, Austin Sol
Best in the Air: Jacob Fairfax, Raleigh Flyers
Best Flick: Jonathan Nethercutt, Raleigh Flyers
Best Backhand: Bobby Ley, Tampa Bay Cannons
Best Scoober: Matt Bennett, Austin Sol
Best Hammer: Jonathan Nethercutt, Raleigh Flyers
Best Decision-Maker: Max Cook, Austin Sol
Best Handler Defender: Andrew Roney, Tampa Bay Cannons
Best Cutter Defender: Hunter Taylor, Raleigh Flyers
Best Zone Defender: Kelvin Williams, Atlanta Hustle
Best Speed: Terrence Mitchell, Raleigh Flyers
Best Quickness: Matt Smith, Atlanta Hustle
Best Buzzer-Beater Athlete: Mischa Freystaetter, Raleigh Flyers
Best Pulls: Dustin Travaglini, Tampa Bay Cannons
Most Underrated: Andrew Walch, Austin Sol
*Denotes repeat winner