April 16, 2024

Tyler Tolbert and Chandler Champlain Clinch Top Honors for Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Northwest Arkansas Naturals New Logo- Photo Credits - NWA Naturals Media Dept

Tyler Tolbert and Chandler Champlain Clinch Top Honors for Northwest Arkansas Naturals

SPRINGDALE, AR – The Kansas City Royals farm system continues to yield promising talent as the Northwest Arkansas Naturals announce their standout performers for the 2023 season. Shortstop/outfielder Tyler Tolbert has been named the Naturals’ Player of the Year, while right-handed starting pitcher Chandler Champlain earned the title of Northwest Arkansas’ Pitcher of the Year. Their exceptional performances have earned them non-roster invitations to Royals Spring Training this year.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals New Logo- Photo Credits – NWA Naturals Media Dept

Tyler Tolbert’s versatility on the field as a shortstop and outfielder has been a cornerstone for the Naturals’ success. His remarkable season saw him join an elite club, becoming only the fifth player in team history to swipe 50 or more bases in a single season. Tolbert’s prowess at the plate was equally impressive; he batted .276 and tied a team record with 10 triples, leading the Texas League in that category. His offensive contributions didn’t stop there, as he also set a new team record for runs scored in a season with 95, showcasing his value as a leadoff hitter.

Tolbert’s accomplishments were further recognized as he snagged the Royals’ George Brett Hitter of the Year award for the entire Royals organization, an accolade that underscores his potential to impact the Major League club in the future.

On the pitching mound, Chandler Champlain rose through the ranks, starting his 2023 campaign with the High-A Quad Cities River Bandits before earning a promotion to the Naturals in late June. His arrival in Northwest Arkansas was marked by consistent performances over 14 starts, posting a 5-5 record and a solid 3.82 ERA. Champlain’s ability to miss bats was on full display, as he totaled 64 strikeouts across 73.0 innings pitched and recorded at least six strikeouts in six of his starts.

Champlain’s standout moments included his stellar performance during the week of July 24, which earned him Texas League Pitcher of the Week honors. He threw six hitless innings against the Arkansas Travelers on July 27, leading the Naturals to a 3-1 victory. His dominance on the mound was also evident in an August 2nd start against the Springfield Cardinals, where he threw a team-high 8.0 innings and fanned eight batters, showing his endurance and skill.

Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, Tyler Gentry (2022 Naturals Player of the Year) and Drew Parrish (2022 Naturals Pitcher of the Year), Tolbert and Champlain have set the bar high for prospects and have given the Royals plenty to consider as they shape their roster for the upcoming seasons.Fans of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals will have the opportunity to witness the next wave of talent as the team kicks off their 2024 season on April 5th at 7:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Drillers. The match-up, which will take place at the Naturals’ home of Arvest Ballpark, promises to be a thrilling opener as the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals sets its sights on another successful season. The Royals will visit Northwest Arkansas on March 25th for their final exhibition game before starting the 2024 MLB season.

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