Pontus Byström

From BR Bullpen

Pontus Byström

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

Biographical Information[edit]

Pontus Byström has played in the Bundesliga and Elitserien and for the Swedish national team.

Byström played briefly in the 2010 European Junior Championship Qualifier, allowing one run in three innings (3 H, 2 K) at age 15. [1] He made his Elitserien debut in 2011, hitting .141/.203/.141 for Akademin and the Stockholm Monarchs and posting a 8.11 ERA. [2] In '12, he batted .253/.355/.305 and had a 0-2, 18.48 record. [3] In the 2012 European Junior Championship Qualifier, he hit .125/.364/.313 and stole 7 bases in 7 tries in 5 games, drawing six walks and scoring seven runs. He also got the win over Switzerland, allowing one run in seven and fanning 13. He made the tourney leaderboards in runs (tied for 5th), walks (tied for 4th with Theo Brelle), strikeouts (tied for 3rd with Darko Kvaternik) and steals (1st, one ahead of Callum Murphy). [4]

In 2013, he again played for Akademin and Stockholm, batting .287/.431/.368 and allowing two runs in three innings. [5] The next year, the teenager hit .189/.272/.241 for Stockholm and allowed three runs while retiring none. [6] Despite the rough season, he made Sweden's squad for the 2014 European Championship. Not only that, but he started in left field. He struck out his first at-bat, against Spencer Kreisberg, drew his first walk the next game from Yomel Rivera and got a hit in game 4 against Enrique Juma. He also got to pitch that day, relieving Arvid Carlstedt in the 9th with a 8-3 deficit against France. Andy Paz greeted him with a double but he retired Arthur Paturel and Pierre Turettes. Jacques Boucheron walked but Pontus fanned Felix Brown to end the inning. He finished the Euros 2-for-22 albeit with six walks and four runs, while fielding .950. He tied for 9th in the event in walks; only Adam Sorgi had more for the Swedes. [7]

The right-hander was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in limited action for the '15 Monarchs, and he hit .313/.420/.457 for the league champs. He tied Raul Lozano for 5th with 9 steals and tied for 2nd with 3 triples, one behind Johan Klarberg. [8] In 2016, he was at 1-0, 2.70 and batted .276/.381/.340 with 25 runs. He went 17-for-18 in steal attempts, finishing one behind SB leader Jason Ochart. [9] He was 1-0 with a 1.75 ERA for the Vienna Explorers in the Collegiate Baseball League Europe and hit .206. [10]

In the 2016 European Championship, he was 1 for 11, his lone hit coming off Leonel Cespedes. He did not pitch and split center field with Tommy Lindell. [11] Moving to Germany's Bundesliga-1 for 2017, he hit .188/.309/.213 for the Hamburg Stealers while playing error-free defense in the outfield. He was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. [12] The next year, he hit .208/.322/.299 for Hamburg but pitched better (1-0, 3 Sv, 4.26) though he walked 15 in 19 IP. He tied Olli Thieben for 2nd in the Bundesliga-1 north in saves, two behind Maurice Wilhelm. [13]

Back in Sweden for the 2019 season, he showed great strides from his last season there after having played in Germany's tougher league - .432/.575/.641, 31 R, 25 BB, 25 RBI; 3-4, 2.74. He was among numerous leaderboards: average (2nd, .003 behind an Australian import), slugging (4th), OBP (1st by .14), RBI (tied Mikael Lindqvist for 7th), steals (11, 10th), walks (tied for 3rd), runs (5th), doubles (9, tied for 5th), fielding in CF (1.000; Lindell was also at 1.000 in more chances), ERA (4th, between Kieran Moore and Heorhii Hvrytishvili, the top native Swede), wins (tied for 10th), strikeouts (tied for 10th with Daniel Linder) and opponent average (.216, 7th, between Moore and Jesper Svedhem). [14] In the 2019 European Championship, he started in right and batted leadoff for Sweden and pitched briefly in relief. He had a 3.38 ERA and hit .304/.429/.348 while playing error-free D. He led Sweden's regulars in average (.031 ahead of Joel Johnson) and OBP (.109 ahead of Daniel Johnson). [15]

In 2020, the season was greatly reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic (which shortened baseball seasons around the world). He hit .321/.426/.375 with 10 steals in 11 tries, leading the league in swipes (one ahead of Joel Johnson). He fell to 2-3, 5.98 on the hill and was 10th with 34 K. [16]