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Hunter Renfroe Named Cal Ripken Sr. League's MVP

By:Nate Burnside

The Bethesda Big Train would like to congratulate Hunter Renfroe (Mississippi State) on his being named Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Cal Ripken Sr. League season.

In 2012, Renfroe led the league with 16 home runs, 53 runs batted in, 47 runs scored, and a .866 slugging percentage. All of those marks were league records, replacing previous records of 9 home runs, 43 runs batted in, 45 runs, and a .816 slugging percentage by various players. Renfroe led the Big Train to their fifth consecutive league championship series appearance by hitting three more home runs in five postseason games.

Perfect Game USA selected Renfroe as a First Team Summer Collegiate All-American as well as naming him the Cal Ripken Sr. League's Top Performer and Top Prospect for 2012. This season, Renfroe was also selected to the Cal Ripken Sr. League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby as well as being named First Team All-League.

"I feel very honored to have the league name me the MVP," Renfroe said upon hearing of the announcement. "It was a memorable season for me and I want to thank everyone involved. It wouldn't have happened otherwise. Thank you."

While Renfroe had worthy opposition from around the league, Renfroe's record-breaking pace stood out.

"Hunter is well-deserving of this honor without a doubt," said longtime Big Train Manager Sal Colangelo. "When you're a team player like Hunter, good things happen."

Renfroe had his jersey number 11 retired by the team on the last night of the regular season. Though one number 11 hangs on the outfield wall at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda where the Big Train play, an additional number 11 was placed at the top of the right field light pole in reference to the extreme distance of his home runs.

The Crystal Springs, Mississippi native was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 31st round in 2010 but decided to attend Mississippi State instead. Though he played centerfield for the Big Train this summer, Renfroe also moonlighted as a catcher and reliever, two positions where Perfect Game USA says he is a "prime-time prospect."

"The summer Renfroe put together was absolutely incredible, with him raising his stock from a player and prospect standpoint," writes Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA. "In addition to flashing a strong arm from the outfield, excellent speed in every aspect of his game and a huge increase in power production, he also was very consistent and good with his batting average."

Renfroe received many honors while playing for the Big Train in 2011 including being named First Team All-League, a Cal Ripken Sr. League All-Star, a Mid-Atlantic Classic All-Star, the Top Prospect in the Cal Ripken League according to Perfect Game USA, and a Second Team Summer Collegiate All-American by Perfect Game USA.

Last season's Cal Ripken Sr. League Most Valuable Player was Renfroe's Big Train teammate of the past two seasons, first baseman Adam Barry (Cal State Northridge). Barry set league records for batting average (.414) and hits (67) in his MVP season as the Big Train went on to capture their third straight league championship and Perfect Game USA's National Championship in 2011.

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