The Feature Star for the Fall of 2017 is American Steven Johnson for played for Attnang-Puchheim Athletics in the Austrian First Division, leading them to their 2nd consecutive championship crown in 2017. Johnson first participated with the International Stars at Prague Baseball Week 2016 and followed it up with another stellar performance both on the mound and at the plate in 2017. In being named the Fall Feature Star for 2017, Johnson put up some ridiculous numbers for Attnang this season both on the mound and at the plate. He compiled a Won-Loss record of 9-2 in 87 Innings Pitched, striking out 114 batters while only walking 15 with a stellar 2.69 E.R.A. Showing why he was named the International Baseball Community’s top 2-way player of 2017 he did just as much, if not more damage, at the plate. Johnson hit a robust .466 with a .563 OBP and Slugged .886 with 9 Home Runs and 52 RBI in the Austrian league. Continue below to read our interview with Steven and how he went from undrafted and injured to productive Independent Ball player to International Super-Star in Australia and Europe….
The Feature Star of Summer 2017 is American Andrew Medeiros who played for Technika Brno of the Czech Extra-League in 2017 and appeared in his third tournament for International Stars and won the MVP of Prague Baseball Week leading the Stars to their fourth championship in the past five years. Medeiros was chosen as the Feature Star mostly due to his incredible offensive and defensive showing at Prague Baseball Week where he led in almost every offensive category – hitting a robust .529 in six games (9 for 17) with 2 doubles, 3 home runs, driving in 8 runs and scoring another 7 runs and totaling an incredible 20 bases for the tournament. Medeiros also caught the championship game, helping starting pitcher Max MacNabb throw a complete-game shutout. For the summer season in the Czech Extra-League, Medeiros hit .372 with a .439 OBP, slugged .641, hit 8 home runs and drove in 45 runs, while playing all over the field, and was named the #5 batter of the season in the International Baseball Community’s year-end rankings of top import players in the 2017 season. Read our interview with Andrew and learn about his incredible journey from a NCAA Division 3 player, undrafted and released from Independent Minor League ball to becoming one of the most accomplished overseas professional baseball players in recent memory….
The February International Star of the Month is Left-Handed Pitcher and Outfielder Max MacNabb who has been pitching on the weekends for the Adelaide Bite in the Australia Baseball League since November as well as playing both pitcher and outfield for the East Torrens Red Sox in the South Australia State League competition. This dual threat earned the prestigious distinction of being a “Feature Star” after tossing 7 shutout innings, striking out 6, allowing no walks and scattering 5 hits in Game 1 of the ABL semi-final playoff game on February 3rd against eventual ABL Champ Brisbane Bandits. His final start of the ABL season capped off an incredible run to start the 2017 year by striking out 16 batters in 19.1 innings pitched across 3 games, while only allowing 1 walk in the highest competition of Australia baseball. The 24 year old Southern California native was a 2-way player in Europe this past season (2016) for Senart Templiers of the French top league and played for 2 different International Stars teams – first helping the Stars win the 2016 Prague Baseball Week championship against the Czech National Team in June and then playing for the Stars in the Yoshida Challenge in France in September. As Max continues to dominate Adelaide for both the Bite and East Torrens (clearly he likes to do things 2 at a time), he is still considering multiple offers to play in Europe again for the 2017 season. See below to read our interview with Max about his incredible journey through International Baseball….