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It wasn't that long ago the Alaska Baseball League was considered one of the top two or three summer leagues. However, times certainly have changed over the past few years.
Though the ABL had its fair share of talent this summer, the crop of big-time producers and prospects certainly was rather limited.
The Anchorage Glacier Pilots put together the most impressive summer at the ABL, compiling a 26-14 record and finishing a whopping five games ahead of second-place Anchorage at 21-19 overall.
Given the Glacier Pilots' success this summer, it should come as no surprise that several players from that team also were headline performers throughout the season. The list includes TCU right-handed pitcher and Evansville left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland.
Freeland led the league with a fantastic 0.72 ERA, while Teakell put together another solid summer, finishing third in the league in strikeouts with 47 behind familiar arm, Washington's Tyler Davis.
Without further ado, we take an inside look at the Alaska Baseball League's top performers this summer.
1B Clint Freeman, East Tennessee State -- Freeman had a big-time spring campaign with a batting average over .350, seven homers and 50 RBIs. He also excelled this summer, leading the Alaska League in hitting with a .379 average, 14 doubles, three homers and 24 RBIs.
1B Chase Compton, Louisiana-Lafayette -- Compton had a solid campaign for the Ragin' Cajuns, finishing the year with a solid .328 average. But he has taken a step forward this summer, hitting .377 with nine doubles, two triples, seven homers and 19 RBIs. Compton also has struck out and walked each 17 times.
2B Kevin Casey, Lafayette -- After hitting .330 this past spring for the Leopards, Casey only has continued his successful ways at the ABL. He batted .356 with 12 doubles, two triples, six homers and 26 RBIs. He could, however, cut down on his strikeouts a bit after finishing with a 30:10 K:BB ratio.
UT Collin Ferguson, St. Mary's -- The year has been all about consistency for the Gaels' two-way talent. Ferguson finished the spring hitting .316 for his club, while this summer, he has been in the same vicinity. Ferguson batted .319 with seven doubles, six homers and 24 RBIs this summer. He also had an 30:18 K:BB ratio.
OF Jordan Brink, Fresno State -- Perhaps Brink is ready to take a step forward beginning this fall for the Bulldogs. Brink finished the spring hitting just around .220, but took a big step forward this summer. He batted .316 with six doubles, three triples and 12 RBIs.
INF Kevin Swick, USC -- Swick didn't have an impressive offensive campaign for the Trojans, but certainly stepped up this summer. He batted .311 with 10 doubles, six homers and 22 RBIs. He also finished the summer with seven stolen bases.
1B Trey Richardson, South Carolina-Upstate -- Richardson finished the spring with the Spartans with just a .265 batting average, but took a step forward this summer. He batted .295 with four doubles, six homers and 17 RBIs. He also had a 32:22 SO:BB ratio.
OF Jordan Luplow, Fresno State -- Luplow had just an OK offensive campaign for the Bulldogs this past season, as he batted just above .270. This summer, he took quite a step forward at the ABL, hitting .286 with seven doubles, six homers and 26 RBIs. He also had a 30:20 SO:BB ratio.
OF Tyler Spoon, Arkansas -- Spoon didn't factor into the equation for the Razorbacks last season, but could find some playing time in the spring after having a solid summer. He batted .284 with 11 doubles, 10 homers and 32 RBIs. He also had six stolen bases.
LHP Kyle Freeland, Evansville -- The talented left-handed pitcher had a decent spring campaign for the Purple Aces, but really took a step forward this summer. He started six games and had a 0.72 ERA in 37 2/3 innings of work. He also struck out 35 and walked 13, while allowing just two extra-base hits.
RHP Jay Calhoun, Dallas Baptist -- The right-hander put together an exceptional summer after tallying a 3.45 ERA for the Patriots this past spring. He made five starts and tossed two complete games, and had a 1.38 ERA in 32 2/3 innings of work. He also struck out 15 and walked seven.
RHP Scott Grist, Texas State -- Grist only worked 4 1/3 innings for the Bobcats last season, but his situation certainly will change after a strong summer. He made seven starts this summer and had a 1.91 ERA in 42 1/3 innings of work. He also struck out 33 and walked 11.
RHP Jacob Rhame, Oklahoma -- After tallying a 7.20 ERA in limited work last season, Rhame might be ready to make a bold statement this fall. He had a very good summer, tallying a 2.06 ERA in six starts and 35 innings of work. He also struck out 32 and walked seven.
RHP Jon Maciel, Long Beach State -- The talented righty is having one heck of a year. He finished the spring with a 1.27 ERA and continued his impressive ways at the ABL this summer. Maciel started eight games and had a 2.14 ERA in 46 1/3 innings of work. He also struck out 36 and walked six.
RHP Mike Theodore, Michigan State -- Theodore had a solid spring for the Spartans, tallying a very respectable earned-run average. He had an even better summer, tallying a 2.79 ERA in seven appearances, six of them starts. He also worked 42 innings, striking out 30 and walking eight.
LHP Jordan Mills, St. Mary's -- Mills had a very average spring for the Gaels, having control issues at times with just a 5.40 ERA. However, he turned things around with a very impressive summer, tallying a 3.20 ERA in eight appearances (eight starts) and 45 innings of work. He also struck out 37 and walked 13.
RHP Trey Teakell, TCU -- The talented right-hander could really become a big-time arm for the Horned Frogs in the spring. He had a fantastic summer, tallying a 3.89 ERA in eight starts and 46 1/3 innings of work. He also struck out 47 and walked 10, finishing the summer as one of the league leaders in strikeouts.
RHP Tyler Davis, Washington -- Davis had a very respectable 2012 campaign for the Huskies, and continued things with a high strikeout total this summer. Though he finished the summer with a rather high 5.67 ERA in 46 innings of work, it's worth noting he recorded 48 strikeouts while walking just 13.
RHP Mike Milke, Brigham Young -- Here's a prime example of a player bettering his situation during the summer. Milke finished the spring with an earned-run average over 10 with the Cougars. However, this summer, he tallied a 5.40 ERA in 43 1/3 innings of work. He also struck out 40 and walked just nine.