Fans choose top three outfielders

Posted: 7/20/2012

SIOUX FALLS -- Sioux Falls Pheasants fans have voted Reggie Abercrombie, Chad Hermansen and Felix Pagan as the top outfielders in team history and into the final player slots for the Sioux Falls Pheasants 20th-Anniversary Team.

The names were announced during Throwback Week, the Pheasants most recent homestand celebration of 20 years of independent, professional baseball in Sioux Falls.

The trio of outfielders was named from a group of six nominees that also included Chris Powell (1993-1994, 1996-1997), Charles Peterson (1999-2001, 2003) and Ben Van Iderstine (2007-2009).    

The votes were cast on the Pheasants’ website, www.sfpheasants.com.

Abercrombie (2010 - 2011) was an all-star center fielder in 2010 and was near the top of the league in every major offensive category, including setting a new league record for runs scored (89). He batted .328 with 22 home runs and 90 RBI. Despite an injury-hampered start in 2011, Abercrombie finished the season batting .304 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI, second on the team in each of those categories. In two full seasons, he has batted .315 with 39 home runs and 156 RBI. He is five steals shy of the team’s career lead. From 2006 – 2008, Abercrombie played in 180 big league games with the Florida Marlins and Houston Astros.

Hermansen (2006) made the most of his only season in Sioux Falls. The former major-leaguer was the lone Canaries post-season all-star in 2006. He led the team in average (.317), hits (119), home runs (19) and RBI (46). He swatted 35 doubles, then a team record. Hermansen played parts of six seasons – 189 games – at the big league level with the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays. He was a first-round draft pick of the Pirates in 1999.

Pagan (2000-2004) held the team games played record until Trevor Lawhorn broke it this season. The Puerto Rican native, nicknamed “El Gato”, is the career leader in nearly every major offensive category – home runs (65), RBI (235), at-bats (1,341), runs (227), hits (416), total bases (700), and extra-base hits (147). Pagan strung together five straight seasons of solid production, with three seasons hitting above .300 and never below .280.  Pagan’s strongest season was 2001, when he earned Northern League all-star honors for hitting .331 with 19 home runs and 66 RBI. He collected 127 hits and swiped 13 bases. Although he most often played infield, the versatile defender played nearly one-third of his games in the outfield.

The 20th-Anniversary Team will consist of two starting pitchers, two relief pitchers, one catcher, a representative from each infield position, three outfielders and a designated hitter.  In addition, fans can vote for a manager.

Nominees for manager will be announced later this week.

The Sioux Falls Pheasants are in their 20th season of independent professional baseball. Information about season tickets and group outings is available by calling (605) 336-6060 or visiting www.sfpheasants.com.