Baseball: Auckland Tuatara's Elliot Johnstone crowned ABL Rookie of the Year

Tuatara pitcher Elliot Johnstone
Tuatara pitcher Elliot Johnstone. Photo credit: Photosport

Auckland Tuatara pitcher Elliot Johnstone has been named the Australian Baseball League's Rookie of the Year for the 2019/20 season.

The achievemtn makes Johnstone the first player in franchise history to win an ABL post-season award.

The right-handed reliever was rewarded for a superb campaign, striking out 28 hitters through 12 games to finish with an impressive Earned Run Average of 1.09.

The 21-year-old Aucklander was an integral cog in the Kiwi side's push to their maiden ABL playoffs appearance.

"It’s definitely something I wasn’t expecting,” Johnstone told the league's website. "I'm pretty stoked and it's a huge honour."

Johnstone was named to the New Zealand Diamondblacks and was set to represent his country at the World Baseball Classic in the US, before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Although he's signed to spend another season at QBE Stadium, Johnstone is expected to attract interest from American clubs, which could see him heading stateside for experience, once lockdown is lifted.

Each of the ABL’s awards were determined by a 3-2-1 vote, conducted by the eight team managers.

The remaining awards will be announced over the next three weeks.