Head coach Evan Bailey calls them two of the “best individual seasons and careers” he’s witnessed in all his years in baseball.
The recipients of such high praise are Okanagan Athletics’ teammates Matt Brodt and Sam Avila.
Brodt, a product of Penticton, dominated on the mound for the B.C. Premier Baseball League Club this season, posting a league-best 10-1 record, along with club records for strikeouts (88) and ERA (1.24).
The 18-year-old right-hander was 16-2 in league games and tournaments combined this season, and is 34-9 overall with a 2.04 ERA in his three years with the A’s.
Brodt is the program’s all-time leader in wins, winning percentage, strikeouts and ERA.
In short, Bailey has never witnessed a more dominant high school career than Brodt’s.
“Matt has been the best pitching product we have ever had, and may never have one as unique as him again in terms of a guy that is a hard thrower with amazing control and an innings eater,” said Bailey. “It’s impressive what he has done.
“He has a very high baseball IQ, a true student of game.”
What made Brodt more impressive, according to Bailey, is the fact that he doubled as a position player throughout his career, batted .294 and was solid defensively.
As for Avila, Bailey said the Kamloops native put together the best offensive and defensive season into one package of any A’s player he has coached.
In 2016, he played every inning, leading the A’s in batting average (.391), hits, runs scored, RBIs and stolen bases.
Avila holds the all-time club record for games played and RBIs (78), is second in runs scored and third in hits.
On top of it all, the ultra, sure-handed infielder has the A’s best career fielding percentage at .942.
“Sam has been the best defensive player our program has ever seen,” said Bailey. “He makes it look easy with loose fluid actions. He could wake up out of bed and go make tough plays.
“Its special to see a player that can take care of the bat and defend. He’s a very instinctive baseball player that understands how to play the game the right way.”
Brodt will attend Odessa Junior College in Texas this fall, while Avila has landed a scholarship at Otero Junior College in Colorado.
Brodt and Avila will lead the A’s into the PBL playoffs this weekend, as they host the Whalley Chiefs in the best-of-three opening round series. A doubleheader is set for Saturday at 2 and 4:30 p.m. at Elks Stadium, with a third game, if needed, to be played Sunday.