DALLAS (NCBWA) -- The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has named its Dick Howser Trophy Players of the Month for February, presented by The Game Headwear, tabbing LSU’s Paul Skenes national pitcher of the month and Florida’s Jac Caglianone player of the month.
Skenes, a 6-foot-6, 247-pound junior out of Lake Forest, California, won a pair of starts to open the year for the No. 1 Tigers. A transfer from Air Force, Skenes has worked 12 innings, allowing just five hits and one run, walking three and striking out 23, second-most in the nation. He was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after blanking Western Michigan on opening weekend while issuing just three hits and one walk with 12 strikeouts, the most by an LSU pitcher in the season lid-lifter since 1995. A two-time All-America selection at Air Force, Skenes won the 2022 John Olerud Award as the best two-way player in the nation. He went for a 2.96 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings last year, while hitting .314 with 13 homers and 38 RBI. The nation’s 2021 Co-Freshman of the Year, Skenes had 11 saves and hit .410 in his collegiate debut.
Caglianone, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound sophomore from Tampa, Florida, had a prolific opening month in 2023, hitting .429 (15-for-45) with seven homers and 14 RBI, adding two doubles and 12 runs scored. He registered a 1.086 slugging and a .487 on-base percentage. He has led the Gators to a No. 2 ranking and an 8-1 start to the year in games vs. Charleston Southern, South Florida, Cincinnati and Jacksonville. He belted three homers and drove in five in a series finale vs. the Bearcats. After playing a midweek game vs. Jacksonville on Wednesday to open March, Caglianone belted his nation-leading eighth homer of the year and has five in his last three games and eight over his last seven games. The sophomore is not just a slugger, as he has earned weekend starts vs. Charleston Southern and UC, working a staff-best 11.1 innings, allowing only four hits and three runs, fanning 15 with a 2.38 ERA and a 1-0 mark.
This marks the eighth consecutive year that the NCBWA has honored a player and pitcher of the month. 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.