DALLAS (NCBWA) – Nine of college baseball's finest student-athletes
have been named 2009 National Collegiate Baseball Writers of
America District Players of the Year, as the NCBWA announced
its 10th annual awards today.
The 2009 NCBWA District Players of the Year include first baseman/pitcher
Mike Belfiore (Boston College), shortstop Jedd Gyorko
(West Virginia), right fielder Kent Matthes (Alabama), first
baseman Rich Poythress (Georgia), second baseman Derek
McCallum (Minnesota), pitcher A.J. Morris (Kansas State),
third baseman Anthony Rendon (Rice), third baseman Bryan
Marquez (New Mexico State) and pitcher Stephen Strasburg
(San Diego State).
Belfiore is the District I Player of the Year after leading Boston
College to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1967. A two-way
player, he was among the semi-finalists for the Stopper of the Year
Award, presented by the NCBWA. Belfiore was a Second Team All-ACC
performer this season.
The Commack, N.Y., native started 59 games and hit .273 (63-for-231)
with 11 home runs and 62 RBI for the Eagles. The 62 RBI ranks fourth
on the school's single-season list. He also scored 44 runs and added
17 doubles for a team that ranks seventh nationally with 151 two-base
hits in 2009. One of the Eagles' top clutch hitters, Belfiore had
31 of his 62 RBI this season with two outs. He hit a game-winning,
walk-off grand slam against LeMoyne on May 10 to cap a six-run ninth
inning and give BC a dramatic 10-6 win. On the mound, he was outstanding,
posting a 5-1 record with nine saves and a 2.05 ERA in 25 appearances.
The left-hander worked 48 1/3 innings and allowed 15 runs (11 ER)
on 44 hits, with 12 walks and 59 strikeouts, while holding opponents
to a .237 batting average.
Gyorko is the District II Player of the Year after a stellar
season at West Virginia, after making the smooth transition from
second base to shortstop this season. He is one of five finalists
for the Brooks Wallace Award, given annually to the nation's best
shortstop. Gyorko is also one of 36 players invited to try out for
the USA National Collegiate Baseball Team. A First Team All-Big
East and Second Team Collegiate Baseball Newspaper/Louisville Slugger
selection, Gyorko is nine hits shy of 200 hits after just two seasons
at WVU. He ranks second in the nation in doubles (28), third in
doubles per game (0.51), 16th in hits (96) and 21st in average (.421).
A native of Morgantown, W. Va., Gyorko completed his sophomore
campaign with a .421 average, eight home runs and 58 RBI and set
the single-season school record with 28 doubles. He also led the
Mountaineers with 150 total bases and 96 hits and 31 multi-hit games.
He also amassed 74 runs and had a .658 slugging mark. Gyorko started
all 55 games for WVU, batting .375 with four home runs and 25 RBI
in conference play and ended the season with a 14-game hitting streak.
At the 2009 Big East Tournament, Gyorko hit .636 (7-for-11) with
five RBI, six runs scored and one double. He went 19 games without
committing an error at shortstop from March 21-April 18.
Matthes is the District III Player of the Year and the 2009 SEC
Player of the Year, after setting the Alabama single-season record
with 28 home runs. He broke the 23-year old record of 27 home runs
held by Doug Duke in 1986. Matthes is a finalist for the 2009 Golden
Spikes Award, presented by USA Baseball, and is a semi-finalist
for the Dick Howser Trophy, presented to the national player of
the year by the NCBWA. He was named to the 2009 Collegiate Baseball
Newspaper/Louisville Slugger All-American Team, becoming the eighth
first-team All-American under head coach Jim Wells. He was also
one of a school-record tying five Alabama players to be named First-Team
All-SEC this season. He is the third UA player to win District III
Player of the Year honors, joining Andy Phillips (1999) and Beau
The Orlando, Fla., native led the nation in home runs (28) and
ranked second in home runs per game (0.5), third in slugging percentage
(.858), sixth in RBI per game (1.45), ninth in RBI (81) and 10th
in total bases (175). In 58 games, he hit .358 (73-for-204) with
28 home runs and 81 RBI. He led the Tide in runs scored (67), home
runs (28), RBI (81), total bases (175), slugging percentage (.858),
sac flies (6), intentional walks (5), on-base percentage (.464)
and stolen bases (13). In SEC play, he hit .330 (35-for-106) with
13 home runs and 35 RBI in 29 games. Matthes opened the season with
an 18-game hitting streak and was one of three UA players to hit
for the cycle this season, when he went 4-for-5 with five RBI in
a win over Nicholls State on Feb. 24. He also set the school record
with a home run in six straight games. For the season, Matthes hit
15 game-tying or go-ahead home runs and he led the Tide with 10
game-winning RBI. He was twice named National Player of the Week
and SEC Player of the Week (March 2 and March 16) this season.
Poythress is the District IV Player of the Year and the second
straight Georgia Bulldog to win the honor. Gordon Beckham, the 2008
SEC Player of the Year, took home the honor last season. He was
a second team selection to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper/Louisville
Slugger All-American squad. He was also named first team All-SEC
and a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes
Award. He was also named to the SEC's All-Defensive Team.
The Grovetown, Ga., native was second nationally with 86 RBI
this season. Poythress also ranked fifth in home runs (25), sixth
in total bases (181), 11th in home runs per game (0.40), 16th in
RBI per game (1.39) and 18th in slugging percentage (.764). He wrapped
up the season with a .376 average, 25 home runs and a single season
school record 86 RBI. Poythress became the first player in Georgia
history to have two 70-RBI seasons and is the second player in program
history to have two three-home run games after launching three homers
in the Bulldogs 24-8 win over Ohio State in the Tallahassee Regional.
He is second on Georgia's career RBI list with 185 and fifth on
the career home runs list with 43. Poythress helped guide the Bulldogs
to a 38-24 record in 2009 and the program's first in-season No.1
ranking. He is the 18th All-American in Georgia baseball history.
McCallum is the District V Player of the Year after leading the
Golden Gophers to a second place finish in the Big Ten Conference
regular season and tournament play. He was a semi-finalist for the
2009 Dick Howser Trophy, the only second baseman and Big Ten player
among the final 16 players. McCallum was also a unanimous All-Big
Ten selection at second base and was one of only three Big Ten players
to earn unanimous all conference selections. He was named to the
All-Big Ten Tournament Team after reaching base in 14 of 23 plate
appearances and hitting .438 (7-for-16) with six runs scored, two
homers and seven RBI.
A native of Shoreview, Minn., McCallum was second nationally
with 86 RBI this season and ranked fifth in RBI per game (1.46),
11th in total bases (172) and 43rd in hitting (.409). Overall, he
hit .409 (95-for-232) with 18 home runs and 86 RBI in 59 starts.
In Big Ten play, McCallum hit .440 (40-for-91) with eight homers
and 36 RBI in 23 games. He had at least one RBI in 10 straight games
on two different occasions this season and was named National and
Big Ten Player of the Week on April 20.
Morris is the District VI Player of the Year after earning Big
12 Pitcher of the Year honors after stellar season with the Kansas
State Wildcats, leading them to their first-ever NCAA appearance
. He is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and a semi-finalist
for the Dick Howser trophy. Morris, who became the first Wildcat
since Craig Wilson in 1992 to earn first team All-American status,
is the first Wildcat to be named a finalist for the Golden Spikes
A native of Humble, Texas, Morris finished the season as the
school's single-season record holder for wins (14), strikeouts (100),
innings pitched (116.1) and games started (16). His 14 wins were
also tied for the third most in Big 12 history, while his 2.09 ERA
was the seventh lowest in school history. Overall, he compiled a
14-1 record and 2.09 ERA in 16 starts for KSU. He added five complete
games and logged 100 strikeouts and 116 1/3 innings. He was 10th
nationally this season in ERA and 29th in strikeouts.
Rendon won District VII Player of the Year honors after being
named the 2009 National and Conference USA Freshman of the Year.
He is the fifth Conference USA Player to earn National Freshman
of the Year honors, following Rice's Ryan Berry (2007), East Carolina's
Darryl Lawhorn (2002) and Tulane's Michael Aubrey (2001) and James
Jurries (1999). He also becomes the eighth different Rice player
since 2002 to earn at least co-National Freshman of the Year honors,
following Berry, Joe Savery (2005), Jeff Niemann (2003), Philip
Humber (2002), Vincent Sinisi (2002), Mario Ramos (1999), Damon
Thames (1998) and Lance Berkman (1997).
Rendon, who is also a national semifinalist for the Dick Howser
Trophy as well as the Golden Spikes Award, is the first player in
Conference USA history to be named both the Player of the Year and
Freshman of the Year in the same season. Rendon was also named C-USA
Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading the Owls to their
third tournament title in four years. The standout from nearby Lamar
High School in Houston has had a sensational debut at the Division
I level, leading the conference in batting average (.384) and home
runs with a Rice freshman record 19. He also leads C-USA in slugging
percentage (.688) and tops the Owls in RBI (70). Rendon has scored
57 runs, walked 31 times and added 13 doubles, while striking out
just 22 times in 237 at-bats.
Marquez is the District VIII Player of the Year after leading
the Cowboys to one of the most productive offensive seasons in school
history. NMSU set single-season records for wins (44), hits (722),
home runs (119), extra base hits (285), RBI (628), total bases (1,310),
on-base percentage (.469) and slugging (.599). New Mexico State
led the nation in scoring (11.0), runs (668), slugging (.599) and
walks (416) and rank second nationally in home runs (119) and home
runs per game (1.95). Marquez ranked in the top 10 nationally in
runs scored (3rd), RBI (4th), on-base percentage (5th) and slugging
(8th). He was also among the top 20 national leaders in RBI per
game, home runs, total bases and home runs per game.
A native of Bonny Lake, Wash., Marquez was a First Team Collegiate
Baseball Newspaper/Louisville Slugger All-American and First-Team
All-WAC performer. He hit .414 (89-for-215) with 22 home runs and
85 RBI, while adding 83 runs scored and 14 doubles. He was named
National Player of the Week and WAC Hitter of the Week on March
Strasburg is the District IX Player of the Year for the second
straight season, after sharing district honors with San Diego's
Brian Matusz last season. A First Team All-American selection by
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper/Louisville Slugger, Strasburg is a
finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and semi-finalist for the Dick
Howser Trophy. For the second year in a row, the right-hander led
the nation in strikeouts (195) and strikeouts per nine innings (16.1)
as the Aztecs advanced to the NCAA Irvine (Calif.) Regional. Strasburg
was also second nationally in ERA (1.32) and hits per nine innings
(5.37) and third in wins (13).
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); District III: (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi,
Alabama, Florida); District IV (Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Maryland); District V (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin); District VI (Iowa, Missouri, Kansas,
Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota); District VII (Texas,
Arkansas, Louisiana); District VIII (Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico,
Colorado, Nevada, Montana); District IX (California, Oregon, Washington,
Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska).
2009 NCBWA DIVISION I DISTRICT PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania
|| Jedd Gyorko
||Morgantown, W. Va.
West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, District
|| Kent Matthes
Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida
|| Rich Poythress
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland
Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin
|| A.J. Morris
Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
|| Anthony Rendon
||New Mexico State
||Bonny Lake, Wash.
Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Montana
||San Diego State
||San Diego, Calif.
California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska
release with statistics (.pdf)
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.