OMAHA (NCBWA) – Clemson's Seth Beer,
the most honored freshman in Atlantic Coast Conference history and
the first freshman to capture this national honor, is the 30th recipient
of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations, as college
baseball's Player of the Year.
The Howser Trophy committee and National Collegiate Baseball
Writers Association denoted the award Saturday at a national news
conference at TD Ameritrade Park prior to the opening game of the
70th annual NCAA Division I Baseball College World Series. This
also follows Beer being selected as 2016 NCBWA Freshman Hitter of
a 6-2, 195-pound first-year outfielder from the Atlanta suburb of
Suwanee, Ga., became the first ACC standout to win both Player of
the Year (awarded by the conference since 1991) and Freshman Hitter
of the Year (first lauded in 1991) after a stellar season for head
coach Monte Lee's Tigers.
He is among the top three in virtually every ACC hitting statistic
with 18 home runs (tops in the conference), 70 runs-batted-in (second
overall), .700 slugging percentage (second), .535 on-base percentage
(second), and 2.29 total bases per game (second), and .369 (eighth
in the ACC).
The 2016 ACC Player and Freshman Hitter of the Year also was
among national leaders in numerous batting categories.
His .535 on-base percentage is fourth in NCAA Division I individual
stats. His 62 bases-on-balls ranks third nationally and second in
the conference while his 18-homer total is tied for 13th nationally
along with leading the league. Beer's 70 RBI is ninth nationally
while he is 21st in RBI per game with a 1.13 average over 62 contests
in which he competed. His .700 slugging percentage is ninth in NCAA
Division I individually.
The consensus All-America and All-ACC choice as well as NCBWA
Freshman of the Year also led the Tigers to the 2016 ACC postseason
title in Durham, N.C., and an automatic berth as host of the NCAA
Clemson Regional. The Tigers closed at 44-20, were runnerup in the
regional and tallied their most wins under first-year head coach
Lee since the 2010 crew closed at 45-25 and advanced to the NCAA
He also was selected NCBWA National Hitter of the Month for March
with nine homers, a .431 batting average and 21 RBI over 19 games
with a 14-5 mark. He tied for the fourth-longest hitting streak
in CU history with a 26-gamer.
Beer became the third Clemson student-athlete in history to attain
the Howser Trophy after pitcher Kris Benson in 1996 and shortstop
Khalil Greene in 2002.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida
State University All-America shortstop and Major League player and
manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as
college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration
for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral
character, and courage, qualities which were exemplified by Dick
"Our father would be so happy to see the performance, growth
and visibility of today's game of college baseball and within it,
the recognition of those whose seasons are most outstanding. "We
congratulate this year's winner, Seth Beer of Clemson, who had a
tremendous first college season and became the first freshman to
have ever won the Dick Howser Trophy. We are so proud of you, Seth,
and our Dad would be also," Jana Howser and Jill Howser Reingold.
Prior to Beer's honor this season, only three four-year college
sophomores had won the Howser Trophy – Brooks Kieschnick of Texas
in 1992, Anthony Rendon of Rice in 2010 and Andrew Benintendi of
Arkansas in 2015. Only a handful of freshmen ever have been finalists
for this prestigious award, and Beer has a chance to join Kieschnick
in '92 and '93 as the only two-time recipients of this trophy. Beer's
reception of the award also ties Clemson with Texas for the most
all-time Dick Howser Trophy winners at three apiece.
Beer is the latest in a long line of Clemson national standouts
along with Benson, Greene, Matthew LeCroy, Billy O'Dell, Ty Cline,
Jimmy Key, Denny Walling, Bill Spiers, Tony Sipp, and Ben Paulsen,
among others. He is the 12th Tiger to be named ACC Player or Hitter
of the Year over the last 48 seasons.
"Seth Beer truly deserves this national honor," said Howser Trophy
committee chair David Feaster, "and his status as national player
of the year as a freshman is a history-making moment. In just a
short time he has exhibited the Dick Howser traits of excellent
performance on the field, leadership, moral character, and courage."
Beer was joined among the top vote-getters by 2016 Howser Trophy
finalists Wake Forest junior third baseman Will Craig, Louisville
sophomore utility player (SP/1B) Brendan McKay, Kent State junior
pitcher Eric Lauer, and Texas A&M junior third baseman Boomer White.
A Florida native, Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at
Florida State (1957-58), then head coach of the Seminoles in 1979
after a career as a Major League player and coach. After one year
in the college ranks, he returned to the majors to manage the New
York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with
the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus
is named for Howser.
NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists.
Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport's
only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.
The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's
death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami,
1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas,
1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990;
Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick,
Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton,
Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida
State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999;
Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil
Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickie Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003;
Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska,
2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt,
2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008; Stephen Strasburg, P,
San Diego State, 2009; Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice, 2010; Taylor Jungmann,
P, Texas, 2011; Mike Zunino, C, Florida, 2012; Kris Bryant, 3B,
San Diego, 2013; A.J. Reed, Kentucky, 2014; Andrew Benintendi, Arkansas,
2015; Seth Beer, Clemson, 2016.
2016 Dick Howser Trophy:
• Fri., May 20: Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists announced
• Thurs., June 9: Dick Howser Trophy finalists announced
• Fri., June 17: Dick Howser Trophy winner announced on MLB Network
• Sat., June 18: Dick Howser Trophy presented at College World Series
• More on the Dick Howser Trophy