Saints Bring In The Hardware, DiFazio, Songco Named American Association Postseason All-StarsST. PAUL, MN September 7, 2015
SAINTS BRING IN THE HARDWARE, DIFAZIO, SONGCO NAMED AMERICAN ASSOCIATION POSTSEASON ALL-STARS
ST. PAUL, MN (September 7, 2015) – With a host of team records broken this season in the most successful regular season in franchise history, it can be easy to sometimes overlook the number of individual performances on the club this season. After posting some of the most dominant offensive numbers, not just in Saints history, but in league history as well, the top two run producers in the middle of the Saints lineup all year long, catcher Vinny DiFazio and first baseman Angelo Songco, have been named American Association Postseason All-Stars in vote amongst the league’s managers and media members.
DiFazio has been one of the most feared hitters in the league all season long not just among catchers, but all hitters in the American Association this season. DiFazio finished the season hitting .361 with 17 homers and 82 RBI. In 321 at bats he scored 70 runs, slugged 19 doubles, two triples, a .467 on base percentage and .592 slugging percentage. DiFazio leads the league in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage with an impressive. The Hampton, New Jersey native’s 82 RBI on the season is tied for first, with his teammate Songco, and tied for the most all-time in a single season in Saints history (also with Songco). DiFazio’s 17 home runs on the season are third in the league.
DiFazio twice went on double digit hitting streaks this season, one for 12 games from June 10-23 that included 11 multi-hit games in a row and another 12 game stretch from July 31-August 12. Perhaps the most impressive stretch for DiFazio came when he was named the Player of the Month for June after hitting .393 with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 22 games. In 89 at bats he scored 20 runs, roped four doubles, one triple, had an on base percentage of .449, a .697 slugging percentage and a 1.146 OPS over that span.
Behind the plate, DiFazio has helped work with a Saints pitching staff that is second in the league in ERA and brag four 10 game winners for just the second time in league history.
After spending four seasons in the Texas Rangers farm system, DiFazio joined the Saints at the end of the 2014 season after being granted his release by the Grand Prairie AirHogs in the American Association. For DiFazio, it is his second All-Star honors, previously being named a Northwest League Postseason All-Star with Spokane in 2009 in the Rangers system when he hit .274/.414/.482 in 47 games with seven homers and 29 RBI in his first stop in professional baseball.
In his second season with the Saints, Songco has slugged his way into the player of the year conversation with a career season to rival that of DiFazio. Songco finished the season hitting .339 with 17 homers and 82 RBI. In 96 games he scored 64 runs, ripped 26 doubles, six triples, a .415 on base percentage and a .580 slugging percentage. Songco leads the league in total bases (214) and extra-base hits (49), second in slugging percentage, tied for third in homers, fourth in hits and fifth in average.
Defensively, Songco has proven to be one of the most consistent fielders at the first base position in the league. He has committed five errors in 71 games at first base while also spending time playing the corner outfield positions.
Songco earns the fifth All-Star honors of his career, receiving all of his previous hardware while a farmhand in the Los Angeles Dodgers system. Songco’s first such honor came in 2010 in Single-A Great Lakes where the California native was named a Midwest League midseason All-Star after posting a solid first half with the Loons. Songco earned three different All-Star awards the following seasonwhile in High-A Rancho Coucamonga. Songco was selected to the midseason and postseason California League All-Star squads and was selected as a Dodgers organizational All-Star after posting a then career high .313 batting average in 131 games with the Quakes. Songco’s 48 doubles paced the league and he ranked second with 29 home runs and 114 RBI.
With DiFazio and Songco receiving league honors, the Saints now have had eight players selected to the American Association All-Star Team in their history. DiFazio and Songco are the first Saints All-Stars since OF Ryan Patterson earned the honor in 2011 after spending time in St. Paul along with stints in Fort Worth and Wichita. It is the first time the Saints have had two players named to an All-Star team since joining the American Association in 2006.
Here is a list of Post-Season All-Star’s in the American Association. Each team received two votes, one by the manager and one from the General Manager/media member, for a total of 26 votes.
C: Vince DiFazio, St. Paul
1B: Angelo Songco, St. Paul
2B: Ryan Court, Sioux City
3B: Josh Mazzola, Winnipeg
SS: Noah Perio, Sioux City
OF: Michael Lang, Sioux City
OF: Denis Phipps, Laredo
OF: Adam Heisler, Winnipeg
DH: Casey Haerther, Winnipeg
P: Patrick Johnson, Sioux City
Relief: Winston Abreu, Joplin