DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate
Baseball Writers of America announced its 2014
District Players of the Year Friday, honoring 11 of the
nation’s budding stars and marking the 14th-straight year it has
bestowed the honor.
The 2014 NCBWA District Players of the Year are District I: DH
Corey Furman (Bucknell); District II: C Mike Alexander (Delaware
State); District III: LHP/1B A.J. Reed (Kentucky); District IV:
C Max Pentecost (Kennesaw State); District V: C Kyle Schwarber (Indiana);
District VI: 1B Casey Gillaspie (Wichita State) & RP Brendan McCurry
(Oklahoma State); District VII: P Aaron Nola (LSU); District VIII:
OF Chase Harris (New Mexico); District IX: RHP Ben Wetzler (Oregon
State) & OF Michael Conforto (Oregon State).
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, Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State, Taylor Jungmann
of Texas, Mike Zunino of Florida and Kris Bryant of San Diego.
Furman was a first-team All-Patriot League selection and ranked
in the top 10 in the Patriot League in six categories during the
regular season, including leading the league in average (.388),
slugging percentage (.560), on-base percentage (.422) and triples
(5). Furman, who missed the final six games of the regular season,
hit a robust .447 during Patriot League play. He led the Bison to
their first NCAA tournament berth since 2010.
Alexander was a first-team All-MEAC selection after ranking third
in the conference with a .386 average. A two-time first-team All-MEAC
pick, Alexander also ranked second in the conference and 10th nationally
in on-base percentage (.490), fourth in the MEAC in slugging percentage
(.575) and fourth in home runs (7).
Reed, who was named a finalist for the 2014 Dick Howser Trophy
on Thursday, leads Division I with 23 home runs, a .735 slugging
percentage and a 1.211 OPS (on-base plus slugging), and his 73 RBI
rank third in the nation. He was the Collegiate Baseball National
Player of the Year and SEC Player of the Year, and he missed by
27 batting average points in an effort to become just the second
SEC player besides OF Rafael Palmeiro of Mississippi State in 1984
to win the coveted conference hitting triple crown. He notched a
.336 average, 60 runs, 18 doubles, a .476 on-base percentage and
an SEC-best 49 walks, which ranked eighth nationally. On the mound,
he leads the SEC with 12 wins, his 2.09 ERA is fifth, he ranks second
in the conference with 112.0 innings pitched and 10th with 71 strikeouts.
Pentecost is a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and Johnny
Bench Award. A first-team Louisville Slugger All-American and Atlantic
Sun Player of the Year, the junior catcher led Kennesaw State to
its first NCAA Regional title in school history as the Owls prepare
to face Louisville in this weekend’s Super Regional round as they
became the first Atlantic Sun team to advance to Super Regionals.
Pentecost currently holds a Division I-best 35-game hitting streak
and leads the nation in hits with 110 while ranking second in batting
average (.423) and total bases (164). He also is in the top 25 in
five other offensive categories, standing ninth in doubles (23),
13th in slugging percentage (.631), 15th in RBI (58) and on-base
percentage (.483) and 16th in runs (59). Behind the plate, Pentecost
has caught 21 runners attempting to steal.
Schwarber, who earned his second-straight District Player of
the Year honor, was a second-team Louisville Slugger All-American
and also is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award. A unanimous first-team
All-Big Ten selection, Schwarber led the league with 14 home runs
and 66 runs, ranking seventh and fourth nationally, respectively.
His 153 total bases ranked fifth nationally and he posted a .358
average while driving in 48 runs. He also recorded a 1.123 OPS (on-base
plus slugging) and tied for the Big Ten lead with six triples. He
also was named the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and
to the NCAA Bloomington Regional All-Tournament team.
Gillaspie was a first-team Louisville Slugger All-American after
earning Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year honors. The
junior first baseman stands leads the nation in walks (58), ranks
second in on-base percentage (.520), fifth in slugging percentage
(.682) and home runs (15), 11th in total bases (144) and is 17th
in batting average (.389). He led the Valley with 82 hits and 50
RBI, and was fourth with 50 runs. He also was named to the Valley
all-defense team at first base.
McCurry, who was named a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the
Year Award on Thursday, was a second-team Louisville Slugger All-American
and first-team All-Big 12 selection. In helping Oklahoma State advance
to the NCAA Super Regional round, the senior right-hander has 19
saves in 34 appearances in 2014 while boasting a record of 5-0 with
a 0.39 ERA. McCurry has allowed just two earned runs and eight walks
in 46.0 innings of work this year. He ranks second on the team with
53 strikeouts and has held opponents to a .182 batting average.
Nola, who is the only player to ever win consecutive SEC Pitcher
of the Year honors, also is a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.
A two-time Louisville Slugger first-team All-American, Nola was
11-1 with a 1.47 ERA and LSU was 15-1 in games he started in 2014.
He ranks second nationally with 134 strikeouts and led the SEC with
116 1/3 innings pitched and a .172 opponent batting average. He
allowed only 19 runs on 69 hits and 27 walks, tossed two complete
games and combined on six shutouts.
Harris was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection
after ranking second in the conference in batting average (.377)
and leading the league in hits (93) and RBI (63). He also ranked
eighth nationally in hits and stood eighth in RBI per game (1.09).
He ranked fourth in home runs (8) and tied for second in triples
(5), while tying for the league lead in total bases (138). His total
bases also ranked 15th nationally.
Conforto and Wetzler, the linchpins of the Oregon State lineup,
both are finalists for the Howser Trophy and both were Louisville
Slugger first-team All-Americans. Conforto, a three-time All-American
and two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year, led the Pac-12 and ranks
fifth nationally in on-base percentage (.504), and also led the
conference in slugging percentage (.547) and runs (52). He ranks
second nationally in walks with a school-record 55, is tied for
third in the Pac-12 in doubles (16) and total bases (111), and was
fifth in average (.345) and hits (70). He was the first three-time
All-American in OSU history and the first player in more than a
decade to earn three consecutive All-Pac-12 honors. Wetzler leads
the nation with a 0.78 ERA and is 12-1, with his 12 victories ranking
fourth in the country. He also leads the nation in hits per nine
innings (4.24) and is third in WHIP at 0.77, allowing just 49 hits
and 31 walks in 104 innings pitched. He struck out 83 and allowed
opponents to hit a meager .143 while posting four complete games
and two shutouts. Wetzler allowed two earned runs in a game only
twice in 2014 and shut out opponents through at least seven innings
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.
2014 NCBWA DIVISION I DISTRICT PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania
||New Castle, Del.
West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, District
||Terre Haute, Ind.
Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland
Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
||Baton Rouge, La.
Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Montana
California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona,
with statistics (.pdf)
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