Four Waterloo Bucks Players Earn Post-Season Honors
The quartet includes outfielder Oraj Anu (University of Kentucky), second baseman Jalen Smith (University of California-Davis), designated hitter Xane Washington (Nicholls State University) and first baseman Peyton Williams (University of Iowa). They were among the 39 players who were selected to the All-Star Team, which was announced by the Northwoods League Tuesday afternoon.
Williams led the entire 22-team circuit with 13 home runs, a total that tied Waterloo's single-season record. He also had a .687 slugging percentage, the highest in franchise history. The Johnston, Iowa, native was named the Bucks' Player of the Year in a vote of season ticket holders.
Smith led the NWL with 53 hits, while spreading his name across the Minnesota-Iowa Region statistical leader board in multiple categories. His 44 runs scored were the most among the five teams in the pod.
Washington and Anu both played in 27 of Waterloo's 41 games. Washington compiled a .324 average, while driving in 19 runs and stealing 11 bases. Anu hit .330 with three home runs, 17 RBI and three stolen bases.
Originally from Orlando, Fla., Anu is a two-time Major League Baseball draft pick. He was selected by Boston in the 28th round in 2017. The Red Sox drafted him again in the 16th round in 2019.
The Bucks (28-14) won the Minnesota-Iowa Region Championship with a 17-6 victory over the Mankato MoonDogs on the final night of the regular season. Entering the finale trailing first-place St. Cloud by a half-game, Waterloo clinched the title when the Rox fell to the Willmar Stingers.
The Post-Season All-Star Team was announced later than usual this year because of the way the Northwoods League structured its season during the coronavirus pandemic. While Waterloo completed its season on Aug. 20, other teams in Michigan and North Dakota played their final games on Friday.