Patrick Kivlehan Wins AFL’s Stenson Award
Seattle prospect Patrick Kivlehan was recognized for his selfless attitude and willingness to be a team player as the Arizona Fall League awarded him the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award as the League came to a close this weekend.
Kivlehan, playing for the Surprise Saguaros, hit .280 in 24 games in his second stint in the AFL with 4 HR and a team-high 22 RBI. The award is handed out annually to the Arizona Fall League player who best exemplifies teamwork and leadership. Kivlehan had this to say, thanks to Spencer Fordin of MLB.com
"“You want to be known for something that’s more than being a baseball player,” said Kivlehan. “It’s how you treat people on and off the field. I definitely think that from playing football and being a special-teams guy, you learn that you have to do whatever you can do to help the team win and do your part.”"
The namesake of the award, Dernell Stenson was tragically murdered during his second trip to the AFL after the 2003 regular season. The award was created the following season to honor Stenson’s legacy. Kivlehan is the first Mariners organization player to be honored with the award.
Kivlehan continues to work his way up through the Mariners system, most likely with a stop in Triple-A Tacoma in store for 2015. Some suggest that he could make his debut with Seattle at some point in 2015, as the Mariners continue to look for a right-handed power bat that can play 1B or a corner outfield spot – which Kivlehan can do both.
Regardless of when he gets called up – assuming he eventually gets the call – the Mariners will surely benefit from his humility and perseverance above anything else he can bring to the field.