Valaika Named Pioneer League MVP

Sept. 11, 2006

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After a stellar season for the Billings Mustangs of the Cincinnati Reds organization, former Gaucho Chris Valaika was named the Most Valuable Player of the Pioneer League. The award was just the latest of many accomplishments Valaika has amassed this season, including a club-record, Pioneer League record and Minor League season-high thirty-two game hit streak that ended on August 27.

In his first full professional season, Valaika batted .324 with 22 doubles, four triples, eight home runs, 58 runs scored and 60 RBI. With the strong first-year campaign, the Valencia, Calif. native cemented his spot in the top-ten of almost every batting category in the Pioneer League. In addition, Valaika finished tops in hits (89) and total bases (143), second in runs and RBI and third in doubles.

Following the outstanding showing, the standout shortstop will be rewarded with one of forty spots in the Reds organization's instructional league.