Baseball: Howick-Pakuranga junior ABL rookie of the year

Auckland Tuatara reliever Elliot Johnstone has been rewarded for his superb 2019-20 Australian Baseball League season by being named the league’s Rookie of the Year.

The right-hander featured in limited innings in the 2018-19 season, making him eligible for rookie status last summer.

He bounced back from a tough initiation to put together a stunning season where he established himself as manager Stephen Mintz’ most reliable reliever.

Elliot Johnstone on the mound. Photo SMP Photography

The 21-year-old appeared in 12 games and earned a 4-1 record. He struck out 28 hitters and had an earned run average of a tick over one run per game.

Johnstone didn’t concede an earned run until the second to last series of the season.

The Howick Pakuranga junior won the Baseball New Zealand club nationals in March and was set to represent the New Zealand Diamondblacks at the World Baseball Classic in the United States before the Covid-19 outbreak.

Johnstone has attracted some US interest and could well head over once the current lockdown is lifted.
He has re-signed with the Tuatara for the 2020-21 season.