Five finalists named for 2024 Dick Howser Trophy

Travis Bazzana, Oregon State
Travis Bazzana, Oregon State
Chase Burns, Wake Forest
Chase Burns, Wake Forest
Jac Caglianone, Florida
Jac Caglianone, Florida
Charlie Condon, Georgia
Charlie Condon, Georgia
Hagen Smith, Arkansas
Hagen Smith, Arkansas

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Dick Howser Trophy presented by The Game Headwear have named the five finalists for the 37th Dick Howser Trophy to be awarded at a national news conference at Charles Schwab Park in Omaha, Neb., on Friday, June 14, at 10 a.m. (CDT) to college baseball’s player of the year.

The five finalists for the Howser Trophy, which has been presented since 1987 except for the 2020 COVID-shortened season, are junior second baseman Travis Bazzana of Oregon State, junior pitcher Chase Burns of Wake Forest, junior first baseman/pitcher Jac Caglianone of Florida, redshirt sophomore third baseman/first baseman/outfielder Charlie Condon of Georgia, and junior starting pitcher Hagen Smith of Arkansas.

All five NCAA Division I standouts have earned All-America and all-conference status (including four Players or Pitchers of the Year for their respective conferences) and are expected to be featured on next week’s NCBWA All-America squads.

The hard-hitting Bazzana has paced Oregon State to the Corvallis Region title and a berth in the Corvallis Super Regional against Southeastern Conference champion Kentucky. The hard-hitting sophomore from Sydney, Australia (the first Howser Trophy finalist from a foreign nation), has helped lead coach Mitch Canham’s Beavers to the school’s ninth NCAA Super Regional in school history.

His 2024 numbers speak for themselves. He is in the top five in virtually every Pac-12 statistical category with a .415 batting average (top seven nationally), 1.512 OPS, 58 starts in 59 O-State contests, 86 hits in 207 at-bats, a Pac-12-best 28 home runs, 66 RBI, .937 slugging percentage to lead the circuit and 16 stolen bases in 21 attempts.

Bazzana is following in the footsteps of former Beavers catcher, 2019 Howser Trophy recipient and current Baltimore Oriole star Adley Rutschman.

Burns, who actually was born in Naples, Italy, and starred in high school baseball in Hendersonville, Tennessee, has nationally-ranked statistics in numerous categories this spring. He leads NCAA Division I with 191 strikeouts and is second in the country with 17.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He posted a 10-1 overall record with a 2.70 ERA as Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year for coach Tom Walter.

The big righthander has played on three nationally ranked squads after starting his career at Tennessee in 2022 before transferring in 2024. His career record is 23-6 in three seasons with 51 total appearances and two saves at UT and Wake Forest, which was rated No. 1 nationally for much of the early rankings in 2024.

Caglianone, the 2023 and ‘24 SEC Player of the Year from Tampa, Florida, is just two home runs away from tying his UF season record for home runs of 33 from 2023. He enters the NCAA Clemson Super Regional with sterling stats as a hitter and lefthanded starting pitcher.

His pre-Super Regional performance reads as a .410 batting average, 60 starts in 60 team games, 1.373 OPS, 94 hits, 31 homers, 63 RBI, a .847 slugging percentage, 48 walks, and just 23 strikeouts in 229 official at-bats. The repeat Howser Trophy finalist also enjoyed another stellar season on the mound with a 5-2 overall record in 14 starts as a regular rotation hurler, 76 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched, 46 walks, a 4.57 ERA, and .225 batting average by opponents.

Caglianone paced Florida during a late-season surge that carried the Gators to an upset victory over 11th-seeded Oklahoma State in Stillwater as coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s crew is making yet another NCAA Super Regional appearance after last winning the NCAA World Series in 2017.

Condon, who has starred at two infield positions as well as the outfield for the Bulldogs, leads NCAA Division I with 36 home runs and a .445 batting average and is on pace to break six Georgia season records on offense. His 61 home runs over two seasons also represent the Bulldogs career record in just 115 games over two campaigns.

The Marietta, Georgia, native has been a multi-time SEC Player of the Week as well as NCBWA National Player of the Week for April 9-15 and NCBWA Division I Player of the Month for February. He also has helped the Bulldogs make their deepest run in the NCAA Championship with a 42-15 overall mark since the 2008 NCAA World Series and their possible first showing since ’08 to the championship tourney in Omaha. Condon was NCBWA National Hitter of the Month for February and has been a multi-times SEC Player of the Week.

Smith, a junior from the tiny East Texas burg of Bullard, has delighted his hometown fans, Razorbacks faithful and coach Dave Van Horn with his 2024 heroics.

After winning 2023 National Pitcher of the Year laurels, the fireballing righthander dominated 2024 opponents with a 9-2 record, 2.04 ERA (second in the SEC), a pair of combined shutouts, 161 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched to lead the NCAA with 17.3 whiffs per nine innings, 41 hits allowed, just 19 earned runs in 16 contests, and a .144 batting average by opposing hitters. The Razorbacks ace also struck out 17 hitters out of 18 hitters faced in a perfect, six-inning stint against then- No. 7 nationally Oregon State in an early-season tournament. 

The winner's name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser, and both the recipient and his school receive a special trophy to keep.

NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport's only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy presented by The Game Headwear are Mike Fiore, OF, Miami (Fla.), 1987; Robin Ventura, 3B, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, 1B-P, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, P, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, P, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, UT-P, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, C, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, 1B, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, P, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, OF, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, 1B, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, UT-P, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, 1B, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickie Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008; Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009; Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice, 2010; Taylor Jungmann, P, Texas, 2011; Mike Zunino, C, Florida, 2012; Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego, 2013; A.J. Reed, DH-P, Kentucky, 2014; Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas, 2015; Seth Beer, OF, Clemson, 2016; Brendan McKay, DH-P, Louisville, 2017; Brady Singer, P, Florida, 2018; Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State, 2019; No Award, COVID-19, 2020; Kevin Kopps, P, Arkansas, 2022; Ivan Melendez, 1B, Texas’ and Paul Skenes, P, LSU.

2024 Dick Howser Trophy presented by The Game Headwear Finalists
Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State (6-0, 199, Jr. Sydney, Australia)
Chase Burns, P, Wake Forest (6-3, 210, Jr., Hendersonville, Tenn.)
Jac Caglianone, P/1B, Florida (6-5, 250, Jr., Tampa, Fla.)
Charlie Condon, 3B/1B, Georgia (6-6, 216, So. Marietta, Ga.)
Hagen Smith, P,  Arkansas (6-3, 225, Jr. Bullard, Texas)

Complete release with season statistics (.pdf)