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2023 Naturals Year End Review

(John Owen)
September 19, 2023

The 2023 Northwest Arkansas Naturals season came to a close on Sunday with the team finishing the second half of the season with a winning record (35-34) and just missing a playoff berth after finishing 3.0 games behind the Springfield Cardinals, who won the second-half North Division crown. The Naturals

The 2023 Northwest Arkansas Naturals season came to a close on Sunday with the team finishing the second half of the season with a winning record (35-34) and just missing a playoff berth after finishing 3.0 games behind the Springfield Cardinals, who won the second-half North Division crown.

The Naturals were 29-40 in the first half of the season, finishing 16 games behind the Arkansas Travelers. Overall the Naturals finished with a 64-74 record, going 34-35 at home and 30-39 on the road.

The 2023 season was packed with great moments from walk-off wins to big-time home runs and record-breaking performances. Let’s take a look at this season and the 2023 Naturals legacy.

Team Performances

  • The Naturals put up a 20-hit game on September 14 against the Arkansas Travelers. It was the most hits in a game this season and fell two-shy of the franchise record that was set back in 2010.
  • NWA had two 19-hit games, both of which were against the Wichita Wind Surge.
  • The Naturals season-high in runs was 16, set early in the year on April 18 at home against Amarillo. The Naturals scored on 15 hits including three homers.
  • The team-high for home runs in a game was six on April 16 during a visit to Wichita where the Naturals fell one blast shy of the club record. Peyton Wilson, Luca Tresh, Jorge Bonifacio, Jeison Guzman, and Robbie Glendinning all went deep in the game while Glendinning went yard twice in the 15-5 win.
  • On April 29 at San Antonio, the Naturals hit three triples in a game for the third time in club history. The performance tied a team record that was last tied in 2019 against the Springfield Cardinals.
  • Early in the year, NWA pitching was one of the best strikeout artists in all of the minors. The team put together 73 games with 10 strikeouts or more on the year.
  • The season-high for Ks by the pitching staff was 17 on May 25 in an extra-inning game against Tulsa. The performance fell two shy of the team record in a game where Beck Way and Noah Murdock each had six.
  • The Naturals limited their opponents to four hits or less on 13 occasions this year, including three two-hit games. The last of those performances came in a win at Corpus Christi on August 17.
  • The Naturals tied a team record in the field, turning five double plays in a game against Arkansas. The contest began on July 9, but due to rain, the Naturals and Travelers finished the game as part of a double-header in the final week of the season.

Individual Performances

  • On April 18 against Amarillo, John Rave hit three home runs in one game. He became the sixth player in team history to reach the mark and the first since Bobby Witt Jr. did it in 2021.
  • Rave also scored five runs in that game, breaking the old franchise record of four.
  • Rave set the season-high with six RBI on the same day, coming one RBI short of the team record.
  • Tyler Tolbert stole three bases in a single game three times. Javier Vaz also had three steals in one game once.
  • Luca Tresh set the single-game walks record after being issued five free passes on May 23 at Tulsa.
  • Chandler Champlain and Alec Marsh each struck out nine in a game, tied for the most on the team. Champlain’s game came on the road where he dominated the Corpus Christi Hooks. Marsh struck out nine on May 5 at home against Wichita.
  • On August 2, Champlain threw the most strikes in a game for a Naturals pitcher. He pounded the zone, landing 70 strikes in the game.
  • Andrew Hoffmann threw the most pitches in a game this year, offering 100 against Springfield on August 5.
  • Nobody had more long outings on the year than Chandler Champlain, who led the team with an 8.0 inning start on August 2 at Springfield. Champlain had eight starts that went 6.0 innings or longer for the year.

League Leaders

  • No one in the Texas League touched home plate than Tyler Tolbert, who scored 95 times this year.
  • Tolbert also led the league with 518 at-bats and 574 plate appearances. Peyton Wilson finished third with 489 ABs and 562 PAs.
  • Wilson led the league with 33 doubles while Tolbert finished tied for eighth with 24.
  • Jorge Bonifacio tied for the league lead with nine sacrifice flies.
  • Tolbert accrued 143 hits this season, tied for the second-most in the league. Wilson’s 140 hits finished fourth in the league while Bonifacio’s 116 was good for eighth.
  • Bonifacio also finished sixth in extra-base hits with 46, including 22 homers which was good for the fifth-most in the Texas League this season.
  • Jacob Wallace finished tied for the most appearances in the league with 49.
  • Steven Cruz earned nine saves, tied four the fourth-most on the circuit.

Called Up

  • 12 pitchers and four position players were promoted to higher levels.
  • Steven Cruz, Alec Marsh, John McMillon, and Tyler Cropley were all called up to the Royals this year, while McMillon and Cropley were selected directly from NWA.

The Legend of El Boni

  • Jorge Bonifacio is the franchise record holder in the following categories:

    • Home Runs: 45
    • Plate Appearances: 1715
    • At-Bats: 1516
    • Hits: 376
    • Runs: 195
    • Doubles: 77
    • RBI: 88
    • Walks: 164
    • Strikeouts: 377

    Record Breakers

    On top of Bonifacio’s achievements, multiple single-season records fell this season to these Naturals:

    • Tyler Tolbert broke the single-season runs scored mark with 95, set by Johnny Giavotella in 2010.
    • Tolbert also tied Paulo Orlando’s record of 10 triples in a season, which he set in 2011.
    • Dillan Shrum was hit by a pitch 23 times in 2023, besting Orlando’s total of 18 from 2010.
    • In addition to Bonifacio’s career achievements, he also took down the sacrifice fly record with nine, besting the previous record of seven that was set in 2022 by both Seuly Matias and Tyler Gentry.
    • Jacob Wallace set the team record for appearances in a season with 49, surpassing Jon Keck’s total of 45 in 2013.

    The Naturals return to Arvest Ballpark for the start of the 2024 season on Friday, April 5, 2024 against the Double-A Affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Tulsa Drillers. Season Tickets, Mini Packs, Flex Plans, and Family Packs are all available for the 2024 season at