ROSEMONT, Ill. — Dogs first baseman Keon Barnum has been named the American Association’s Most Valuable Player for the 2019 season, the league announced Tuesday.

Barnum pieced together a magical — and historic — 2019 campaign, his first in the league. With 31 home runs, he broke the American Association’s single-season home run record, previously held by C.J. Ziegler of the Wichita Wingnuts. Barnum finished the season leading the league in home runs, slugging percentage, OPS, extra-base hits and total bases, while ranking second with 90 RBI. With a team-leading .311 batting average and 116 hits, he led the way for the Dogs with pure hitting, too, not just power.

“Winning the MVP is a really huge accomplishment,” Barnum said. “All the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into the game, with so many people who have helped me, it’s a huge accomplishment to be MVP. I’m really excited to have that award.”

Out of C. Leon King High School in Tampa, Florida, Barnum was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (48th overall) of the 2012 MLB Draft. Starting off with the Bristol White Sox (Rookie), year by year he advanced up the system before reaching Double-A in 2016. Barnum most recently played for the Birmingham Barons (AA), slugging 15 HR and tallying 44 RBI in 2018. 

2019 marked Barnum’s first season in the American Association, keying the Dogs to a 59-41 record, the third-best mark in the league and the best record in franchise history.

Fans can follow the Dogs on social media — @TheChicagoDogs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and use the hashtags #TakeABite and #NoKetchup. For more information, visit TheChicagoDogs.com.