Two Rafters Awarded Rawlings “Big Stick” Honor; Ben Ross from the Rafters tops the list with .421 average


Two Rafters Awarded Rawlings “Big Stick” Honor

Ben Ross from the Rafters tops the list with .421 average


Wisconsin Rapids, WI – The Northwoods League is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award. This award is given to the player at each position who had the best batting average during the 2022 regular season.

Wisconsin Rapids Rafters shortstop Ben Ross leads the list of award winners. Ross earned a Rawlings “Big Stick” by leading the league with an impressive .421 batting average. Prior to the Northwoods League All-Star Game Ross was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 5th round of the MLB draft. Colin Tuft is entering his sophomore year at Virginia University, where he appeared in 37 games during the 21-22 season.Rawlings has been rewarding the top hitters in the Northwoods League since 2007 in addition to honoring the best fielders since 2002.

To honor their achievement, the nine award winners will receive an engraved bat from Rawlings. The complete list of 2022 Rawlings “Big Stick” Award Winners is below.




NWL Team


Batting Average


Colin Tuft

Wisconsin Rapids




Anthony Stephan





Tristan Garcia

Green Bay

Western Kentucky



Trevor Austin

St. Cloud

Mercer University



Ben Ross

Wisconsin Rapids

Notre Dame College



Kristian Campbell


Georgia Tech



Sean Ross


Indiana State



Nick Mitchell

Fond du Lac

Western Illinois



Ben Vujovich


St. Thomas



John Nett

St. Cloud

St. Cloud State


To be eligible a player would have needed to have enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title. A player must have a minimum of 2.7 plate appearances per team game.


The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 29th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, 300 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at and on ESPN+. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Growlers as your favorite team.

David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]