Longtime RailCat Tom Walraven heads back to the U.S. Steel Yard for his third season with the team, looking to build upon an impressive showing in 2021. Over his 71 games played, he led the squad in both home runs (6), runs batted in (46), and tied for first in doubles (16) while finishing second in runs (40), third in hits (75), third in at-bats (267), fourth in batting average (.281), and fifth in walks (26).
The RailCats signed Walraven after he wrapped up a decorated college career at Division II University of New Haven. Over his five years as a Charger, he hit .326 with nine home runs, 77 RBI, 205 hits, 121 runs, 39 doubles, 93 walks, and 39 stolen bases. Walraven racked up personal awards every season as well, including the Northeast-10 Co-Rookie of the Year award in 2014 and the NEIBA All-Star Game MVP in 2018. He also made the Northeast-10 All-Rookie Team and All-Conference Third Team in 2014, All-Conference First Team in 2017, and All-Conference Second Team, Northeast-10 All-Tournament Team, and NCBWA All-East Region Honorable Mention Team in 2018. In addition, Walraven led New Haven to the 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Championship in 2017 and NCAA Division II National Tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018, making the East Region All-Tournament Team in 2018 as well.
Upon his arrival on the South Shore, Walraven immediately became a fan favorite due to his instant impact. In his first season as a pro in 2019, he batted .300 and registered 6 home runs, 31 RBI, 10 doubles, 35 walks, 35 runs, and six stolen bases. His home run total in 2019 placed second on the ball club, and his batting average placed third. When the RailCats decided not to compete in the 2020 American Association season due to COVID-19, the Winnipeg Goldeyes selected Walraven in the league’s Dispersal Draft, and he joined the team’s pod in Fargo.