by Marketing ROC

Brett Vertigan named as American Association Co-Defensive Player of the Year

Pitching and defense are what propelled the Milwaukee Milkmen to the best regular season record in the American Association this season. The Milkmen finished with the fewest errors and highest fielding percentage of any team on the circuit this summer, and center fielder Brett Vertigan played a significant role in Milwaukee's success on the diamond. For his work as captain of the outfield this season, Vertigan was honored by the American Association as the league's 2020 Co-Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday. He -- along with Chicago Dogs' outfielder Michael Crouse -- was selected by a vote from the league's managers, team executives, and media representatives.

This was Vertigan's first season suiting up for the Milkmen after arriving via trade over the winter, and he started every one of the team's 60 games in center field. During the year he was charged with zero errors in 142 chances for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. He recorded one outfield assist and was generally a vacuum in center, tracking down balls all over the expanse of Franklin Field. Often a source of highlight-reel plays, Vertigan has made a habit of making the difficult plays look routine on the outfield grass.

Vertigan was also a catalyst at the top of the lineup for the Milkmen, leading the squad with 67 hits and 33 walks. In 273 plate appearances, the left-handed batter slashed .293/.381/.354 with one home run and 10 stolen bases.

Vertigan's first season in the American Association was with Sioux Falls in 2019, where he hit .279/.352/.339 in 97 games. A former 10th round pick, Vertigan began his professional career with the Oakland Athletics in 2012. During seven seasons in the affiliated minors as a member of the A's organization, he hit a combined .263/.341/.349 across 662 games, reaching as high as the Triple-A level.

The American Association will announce other awards on the following schedule:

  • Executive of the Year Wednesday, Sept. 16
  • Playing Surface of the Year Thursday, Sept. 17
  • Organization of the Year October

The Milkmen lead the Championship Series two games to none and are on the road in Sioux Falls to face the Canaries as the playoffs continue. You can watch the games by subscribing to AA Baseball TV.