LYNCHBURG, VA. (NCBWA) Arizona State University first baseman Spencer Torkelson and University of Minnesota right-hander Patrick Fredrickson have been named the 2018 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Freshman Hitter and Pitcher of the Year recipients, as announced by the organization today.
Torkelson, the Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, hit .320 with 53 RBI and 59 runs scored for the Sun Devils in 2018. He finished the season as the national leader with 25 home runs during the regular season two more than any other player and just one shy of the NCAA freshman record. The first baseman added 12 doubles and four stolen bases for Arizona State.
A Pac-12 All-Conference team member, Torkelson posted a .743 slugging percentage and a .440 on base percentage, collecting 153 total bases. The Petaluma, Calif., native led the Sun Devils with 15 multi-RBI games and finished the year having reached base safely in 39 straight contests.
Torkelson is just the sixth player to reach 25 home runs since 2011 (BBCOR batting technology changes took effect) and the only freshman in the NCAA to reach the milestone during over the span. The second team All-American selection by both Baseball America and the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper set a new Sun Devil program freshman home run record and finished tied for second in Arizona State single-season history. In addition, his slugging percentage is the third highest by a freshman in the past 20 years and the highest since 2011. The first baseman has also been chosen the Co-Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and named to this summer's 2018 USA Collegiate National Baseball Team.
Fredrickson, the Big Ten Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, posted a 9-0 record with a 1.86 ERA in 19 appearances, 13 which were starts, for the 2018 NCAA Minneapolis Regional Champion Minnesota Golden Gophers. His ERA ranks 12th nationally. The right-hander struck out 73 and walked 27 batters over 97 innings. He also had a 1.01 WHIP and a .209 opponent batting average.
A first team Big Ten All-Conference, Fredrickson helped Minnesota record a 44-15 overall record and an 18-4 Big Ten mark, winning the both the conference's regular and tournament titles. The Gophers, who ranked seventh in last week's NCBWA Weekly poll, went on to host and win the NCAA Minneapolis Regional, its first regional championship since 1973. The Gig Harbor, Wash., native also was selected to the Big Ten All-Tournament team.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, ncbwa.com. For more information, contact Ryan Bomberger (email@example.com).