GRAND FORKS, N.D. (NCBWA) – With the college baseball season shifting towards the back stretch, 40 of the sports top relief pitchers have been named to the Midseason Watch List for the 13th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, members of the association announced Wednesday.
Seventeen of the 40 players were on the preseason watch list released in February, including Virginia Commonwealth's Sam Donko, who is the only returner among last year's five finalists for an award that is given annually to the top relief pitcher In NCAA Division I baseball. Donko already has 11 saves this season to go with a 0.95 ERA.
Among the 23 newcomers to the watch list are the nation's top two saves leaders. Minnesota's Brian Glowicki and Mississippi State's Spencer Price both have 14 saves. That duo leads a group of 15 pitchers on the watch list who has already amassed double-digit saves in 2017. Glowicki's 0.39 ERA is tops among the 40 players.
Oregon State's Jake Mulholland is one of four freshmen that made the list. The left-hander is 5-0 with five saves and owns a 1.02 ERA for the top-ranked Beavers.
There are 17 conferences represented on the list with the Atlantic Coast, Pacific-12 and Southeastern Conference each leading the way with five relief pitchers on the list.
Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgias Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State·s Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas· Chance Ruffin earned the honor in 2010. The Longhorns· Corey Knebel won in 2011, with Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. UCLA·s David Berg was crowned the winner in 2013, Louisville·s Nick Burdi took home the 2014 honor and Berg became the award's first two-time winner in 2015. Miami (Fla.)·s Bryan Garcia was honored as the 2016 recipient.
The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects All-America Teams for all Divisions, a Division I Freshman All-American team, Division I, II and III Players of the Week and Division I, II and III Players of the Year.