DALLAS (NCBWA) Nine of college baseball·s finest student-athletes have been named 2007 National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America District Players of the Year, as the NCBWA announced its eighth annual awards today.
The 2007 NCBWA District Players of the Year include junior shortstop Derek Shunk (Villanova), junior shortstop Todd Frazier (Rutgers), junior left-handed pitcher David Price (Vanderbilt), freshman first baseman Dustin Ackley (North Carolina), sophomore pitcher/designated hitter Zach Putnam (Michigan), senior second baseman Tyler Mach (Oklahoma State), sophomore outfielder Kyle Russell (Texas), junior second baseman Jordan Pacheco (New Mexico) and sophomore first baseman Brett Wallace (Arizona State).
Price is one of the four finalists for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy, which will be presented in a national news conference on Friday, June 15 at 10 a.m. (CDT) on the 22nd Floor of the Omaha Press Club prior the start of the 2007 NCAA World Series. The Dick Howser Trophy is presented by the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Area Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the NCBWA.
Shunk earns the 2007 NCBWA District I Player of the Year honor after leading Villanova to the Big East Championship tournament for the first time since 1997. Shunk led the team offensively for the entire season, batting .357 with a .444 on-base percentage and a .471 slugging percentage. He collected 75 hits and also led the team with 49 runs scored, 12 doubles and 29 walks. Shunk also executed an unassisted triple play in a game.
Shunk was named a Player of the Year and also was voted as the All-Big Five shortstop along with Ryan Weber from Temple. During the 2007 season, Shunk recorded his 200th career hit and moved into eighth place in school history with 205 career hits. He had a 12-game hitting streak early in the season during which he batted .558 (29-for-52) and was named Big East Player of the Week on March 12. Shunk was also a third team All-Big East selection and ranked among the league's top-10 in batting average.
Frazier was named the 2007 NCBWA District II Player of the Year after painting himself throughout the Rutgers record book, finishing in the top-six in every single-season offensive category, excluding triples. Frazier broke the Rutgers single-season record for home runs (22), home runs by a leadoff hitter (22), runs scored (87), walks (62), doubles (24) and total bases (187), all set this season. He also finished second in slugging percentage (.757), second in at bats (247), tied for third in runs batted in (65), fifth in hits (93), and tied for sixth in stolen bases (25).
Frazier has also placed himself on several Rutgers career record charts through just three seasons. He is the Scarlet Knights all-time leader in home runs (42) and runs scored (210), is second in walks (138) and total bases (434), and third in hits (241), slugging percentage (.625) and stolen bases (65), and fifth in runs batted in (152). Frazier, who played with the USA Baseball National Team last summer, finished among the national leaders in home runs, walks and runs scored this season.
Price was named the 2007 NCBWA District III Player of the Year after leading the nation with 194 strikeouts. The 2007 Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year led the Vanderbilt Commodores to the 2007 SEC regular-season title and SEC Tournament championship. It was Vandys first SEC Championship since 1980. Vanderbilt, which spent the majority of the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the country, also became the first team since Alabama in 1996 to win both the SEC regular-season and SEC Tournament championship.
Price, the No. 1 overall selection in Thursdays MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, finished the year with an 11-1 record and 2.63 ERA. Price·s 194 strikeouts rank second all-time in SEC lore behind former LSU hurler and Baltimore Orioles· No. 1 pick Ben McDonald, who tallied 202 strikeouts for the Tigers in 1989. A three-time All-American at Vanderbilt, Price was named the 2007 Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year and is one of five Vandy players on the All-American team. Price was third-team All-America pick in 2006 as a sophomore and was named to the Freshman All-America team in 2005.
Ackley was the 2007 NCBWA District IV Player of the Year, adding to an already long list of honors for the Tar Heels' top hitter. He was the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and a First-Team All-ACC selection.
A third-team All-America pick, Ackley is the first Tar Heel since Brian Roberts (1997) to earn national rookie honors. He was also named the 2007 National Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Ackley is hitting .427 with Carolina freshman records of 109 hits and 65 RBI in 63 starts heading into this weekends NCAA Super Regional matchup with South Carolina. The Tar Heels are the No. 3 national seed in the tournament. He also leads UNC in doubles (19), slugging (.608), on-base percentage (.465) and stolen bases (10). He was a two-time ACC Player of the Week in 2007.
Putnam was named the 2007 NCBWA District V Player of the Year after leading the Wolverines to the Big Ten Championship. The sophomore also played a key role in Michigans two wins over No. 1 ranked Vanderbilt last weekend in the NCAA Nashville Regional that propelled the Wolverines into the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time.
Putnam is the first player in Big Ten history to be named to the first team all-league at two positions in the same season. He hit .341 with eight home runs and 59 RBI. On the mound, Putnam went 8-4 with a 4.13 ERA in 15 games. He is one of four U-M players to be named First-Team All-Big Ten Conference, marking the fifth time since 1949 the Wolverines have had four first-team honorees. Putnam, who leads the Big Ten in RBI and ranks second in strikeouts, received his second All-Big Ten selection of his career. Putnam was a second team pick a year ago as a starting pitcher.
Mach was the 2007 NCBWA District VI Player of the Year after leading the Cowboys to an NCAA Regional win over No. 7 national seed Arkansas last weekend in Fayetteville. Mach was one of three Cowboys named to the 2007 First-Team All-Big 12 team, marking the first time since 2003 OSU had as many selections. Mach, the 2006 Big 12 Conference Co-Player and Newcomer of the Year, was named All-Big 12 for the second-straight year. The senior is batting .401 with 15 home runs and 81 RBI. He leads the Big 12 with 99 hits and 81 RBI.
Russell was named the 2007 NCBWA District VII Player of the Year after swatting an NCAA-leading and Texas record 27 home runs this year. He leads the nation with 27 home runs and ranks second with an .825 slugging percentage. Russell was named the Big 12 Player of the Year and garnered first-team All-Big 12 recognition. He earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors twice in 2007 and smashed the Texas single-season home run record which was previously 20. He hit .341 with 65 runs scored, 11 doubles, five triples, and nine stolen bases on the year.
Pacheco was named the 2007 NCBWA District VIII Player of the Year after hitting a team-best .397 with 63 runs, 87 hits, 21 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 50 RBI, 43 walks and seven stolen bases. He was also named the 2007 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. Pacheco led the conference in on base percentage (.511), runs, doubles and walks. He also ranked 12th in the nation in batting average, 17th in runs, 23rd in walks and 40th in doubles. The last time Pacheco made the all-American team was as a freshman, placing on the third team and all-freshman team. He is a three-time all-MWC second baseman.
Wallace was named the 2007 NCBWA District IX Player of the Year after leading the Arizona State Sun Devils to the Pac Ten Championship and a berth in this weekends NCAA Super Regionals. The Sun Devils entered the NCAA at the No. 5 national seed. He is hitting .420 (102-for-243) with 15 home runs and 74 RBI. He has also added 73 runs scored, 16 doubles and five triples. Wallace, who won the Pac 10 regular-season triple crown, is the 12th Sun Devil to earn the Pac 10 Player of the Year honors.
The group, divided into areas as follows: District I-Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania; District II: Connecticut, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, District of Columbia; III: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida; IV: Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland; V: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin; VI: Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota; VII: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana; VIII: Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Montana; District IX: California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska.
California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska
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.