DALLAS (NCBWA) Nine standouts from throughout the nation dot the 12th annual 2011 National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America District Players of the Year, announced today by the organization.
The 2011 NCBWA District Players of the Year are District I: SS-3B Matt Gedman (Massachusetts); District II: OF George Springer (Connecticut); District III: 1B Adam Brett Walker (Jacksonville); District IV: SP-UT Danny Hultzen (Virginia); District V: UT Cody Fick (Evansville); District VI: C Chris O'Brien (Wichita State); District VII: SP Taylor Jungmann (Texas); District VIII: UT C.J. Cron (Utah); District IX: SP Trevor Bauer (UCLA).
Some of the previous NCBWA District Players of the Year have been Howser Trophy recipients, such as Mark Teixeira of Georgia Tech, Mark Prior of USC, Khalil Greene of Clemson, Rickie Weeks of Southern, Jered Weaver of Long Beach State, Alex Gordon of Nebraska, Brad Lincoln of Houston, David Price of Vanderbilt, Buster Posey of Florida State and Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State.
Gedman, the son of longtime Boston Red Sox standout catcher Rich Gedman, was ranked 16th nationally in Division I batting average through games of June 9 with a .402 batting average to pace the Atlantic 10 Conference. He became the first UMass player selected in the Major League draft since 2005 after copping consensus All-A-10 Conference honors and leading the team in virtually every hitting category. The multi-position infielder also was a New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association All-Star in 2010, and became the second Minuteman ever to win the A-10 individual batting title. He struck out just 13 times in 189 official at-bats as one of the nation's top contact hitters and has been considered for All-America recognition.
Springer, the 2009 Big East Conference Rookie of the Year, has seen his career soar all the way into UConn's first-ever NCAA Super Regional appearance this week against defending NCAA champion South Carolina. The junior outfielder paced the 45-18-1 Huskies with 83 hits, 12 home runs and 77 RBI to date in '11 and is the school career leader in runs with 219 and homers with 46. His grandfather George Springer and father George Spring, Jr. were both football and baseball standouts. His head coach, Jim Penders of the famed Penders baseball/softball/basketball family, helped George III earn consensus All-Big East laurels in 2011.
Walker garnered Atlantic Sun Player of the Year laurels while posting one of the nation's top batting averages at .411. The semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy topped the Jaguars in almost every statistic on offense and was second team Louisville Slugger All-America in Collegiate Baseball magazine. He had an on-base percentage of close to .500 and managed the sixth-highest season home run total in JU history with 13 along with a perfect 14-for-14 in the stolen bases' department. Walker paced the A-Sun in average, on-base percentage, hits, and doubles as a sophomore this season.
Hultzen, another semifinalist for the Howser, enjoyed one of the most memorable dual position performances in Atlantic Coast Conference history in 2011 with the Cavaliers. The Outstanding Player in the '11 NCAA Charlottesville Regional was the second player chosen in the recent Major League Baseball Draft by the Seattle Mariners. He enters the Charlottesville Super Regional with a school-record 148 strikeouts this year in 103-plus innings, an 11-3 overall record as staff ace and 1.57 ERA. He also has fanned 348 in his career for a UVa mark and is 31-5 since 2009 and was ACC Player of the Year as a junior for the 52-9 Cavs. Hultzen batted .336 with 34 RBI in 37 games when he was a DH or hit for himself while pitching.
Fick, another dual position standout for Evansville, was a first team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and league Player of the Year in one survey. He led the Purple Aces with a .406 average, drove in 71 runs in 53 games for a 1.4 average (among the tops nationally), topped the team in eight different statistical categories as a hitter, and was 7-4 on the mound with a 2.36 ERA. He had five complete games and a pair of shutouts in just 11 starts and was a 23rd round draft selection of the Philadelphia Phillies as a lefthanded pitcher. He also is one of the top candidates for the College Baseball Foundation's Jon Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.
O'Brien had a senior season to remember for legendary coach Gene Stephenson and the Shockers as a finalist (first in WSU history) for the prestigious 2011 Coleman Company Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza. He also was named the Joe Carter Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year after hammering out a conference-best .410 average with 56 runs, 100 hits, 25 doubles, 10 homers, and 70 RBI all bests for the 2011 Shockers. He ended his career with a 29-game hitting streak, fifth-best in WSU season history and the longest among DI standouts as of June 9. O'Brien is also a semifinalist for the Howser Trophy.
Jungmann posted exceptional numbers in a Texas program noted for its dominating starting pitching for decades. The consensus All-America righthander and Big 12 Conference Pitcher of Year hurled coach Augie Garrido's Longhorns to a share of the Big 12 Conference title by posting a 13-1 record on the mound. Jungmann yielded a paltry .167 average to opposing hitters and has averaged almost a strikeout an inning (120 in 129 1/3 frames). He has posted five complete games and three shutouts, while allowing just 20 earned runs for the nation's best team ERA staff (2.35).
Cron, the lone repeat selection from the 2010 District Players of the Year, followed a .431 season as a junior with 20 homers and 81 RBI by leading the nation with a .803 slugging percentage. The son of former Los Angeles Angels 1B Chris Cron joins Howser Trophy winner and 2004 LAA draftee Jered Weaver as just the second collegiate player picked first by the Angels in eight seasons. C.J. Cron, who has caught, played first and served as a DH, was a first team All-America in '11 with 15 homers and 59 RBI in 49 games. The three-time All-Mountain West selection helped the Utes to second place in the MWC behind 2010 NCAA World Series entry TCU.
Bauer shared world-class pitching stats with Hultzen and Jungmann as a consensus All-America choice. The Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year was almost Mr. Automatic· on the hill with a nation-leading 10 complete games in 16 starts and conference-season-record 203 strikeouts in 136-plus innings. He pitched the Bruins into the host role for the 2011 Los Angeles Regional and surrendered just 22 runs (19 earned) all season while posting the best ERA in the Pac-10 and one of the Top 10 numbers in NCAA stats. Bauer also followed Hultzen and Jungmann into the group of semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy and is a top candidate for 2011 CBF National Pitcher of the Year.
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
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