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Initial 2019 Olerud Award Watch List announced
Candidates must have at least 20 innings pitched or six saves

 

 

LUBBOCK, Texas -- With just over a month left in the regular season, the field is taking shape for the ninth annual John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, as evidenced by the 2019 watch list released Wednesday by the College Baseball Foundation.

While a mix of starting pitchers and relievers lead the 25-player watch list for 2019, all are showing their prowess at the plate in contending for the Olerud Award, presented by the College Baseball Foundation. An almost entirely new group of players highlights the list, which features just four players who were on the watch list in 2018.

"There are a few familiar names on the list, but for the most part, it is completely wide open. I'm expecting the battle for the 2019 award to come right down to the very end," said George Watson, chairman of the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year selection committee. "We certainly have some outstanding candidates on this year's watch list representing both Power 5 and Group of 5 schools, each one playing a key role in their team's success this year. It's going to be fun watching these outstanding players progress over the final six weeks of the season."

The award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s. He was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented by the College Baseball Foundation later this summer.

Headlining the list of returning players is a pair of Georgia standouts in Tristin English from Georgia Tech and Aaron Schunk from Georgia.

English, a sophomore right-hander and infielder, is hitting .310 in 36 games for the Yellow Jackets with nine home runs and 36 RBI while fielding at a .986 clip. On the mound he is 2-0 with a 4.72 ERA and three saves in nine appearances. In 13 1/3 innings, he has walked just four and struck out 12.

Schunk, a junior right-hander and infielder, is a big reason why the Bulldogs lead the SEC East division. He is second on the team with a .336 batting average with six home runs and 28 RBI. He is 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA and 10 saves in 13 appearances, walking just three and striking out 14 in 17 innings of work.

One of the top newcomers to this year's list is hulking Oklahoma hurler Cade Cavali. The 6-foot-4, 226-pound right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA in nine starts for the Sooners, striking out 44 in 48 1/3 innings of work. At the plate he is hitting .319 in 19 games with four home runs and 17 RBI.

Leading the small school contingent is junior right-hander/first baseman Chris Wright from Bryant. Wright is hitting .285 with five home runs and 32 RBI, while on the mound he is 1-1 with eight saves in 19 1/3 innings, walking 11 and striking out 39.

"Those are just a handful of the talented two-way players on this year's watch list," Watson said. "And with more than a month to go until the postseason, I expect each one of these players to make a push both individually and in leading their team's playoff hopes."

For more information on the Olerud Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.


JOHN OLERUD TWO-WAY PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Logan Allen

Flordina Intl.

Conference USA

Will Brennan

Kansas St.

Big 12

Alec Burleson

East Carolina

AAC

Ben Casparius

North Carolina

ACC

Cade Cavalli

Oklahoma

Big 12

Alex Dorethy

Western Illinois

Summit

Tristin English

Georgia Tech

ACC

Kamron Fields

Texas

Big 12

J.C. Flowers

Florida St.

ACC

Joe Georgini

NJIT

Atlantic Sun

Connor Grammes

Xavier

Big East

Matt Lloyd

Indiana

Big Ten

Darnell Maisonet

Delaware St.

Mid-Eastern

Will Matthiesen

Stanford

Pac-12

Alvin Melendez

Fordham

Atlantic 10

Max Meyere

Minnesota

Big Ten

Kevin Milan

St. Mary's (Calif.)

West Coast

Shane Muntz

Wake Forest

ACC

Pavin Parks

Kent St.

Mid-American

Casey Schmitt

San Diego St.

Mountain West

Aaron Schunk

Georgia

SEC

Davis Sharpe

Clemson

ACC

Corey Treyes

Coppin St.

Mid-Eastern

Brandon Wilkes

Bethune-Cookman

Mid-Eastern

Chris Wright

Bryant

Northeast

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