Olerud Award finalists impress with outstanding seasons
Big names populate the list of 5 finalists for the 2017 Olerud Award
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Big arms and big bats are represented by the five finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award released Wednesday by the College Baseball Foundation.
The list includes two of the top overall players from both the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten Conference as well as a Big 12 player whose team is on a mission.
The five finalists are junior Brendan McKay from Louisville, junior Adam Haseley from Virginia, sophomore Alex Troop from Michigan State, junior Jake Meyers from Nebraska and sophomore Braden Zarbnisky from West Virginia.
"This group of finalists epitomizes everything we look for in an Olerud winner -- competitiveness, toughness and the ability to put his team on his back," Olerud Award chairman George Watson said. "It has been tremendous watching each of these players battle throughout the season for their respective teams, and it will be interesting to see how the rest of their seasons play out from here."
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 and who 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.
- Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Jr., Louisville: The two-time defending award winner, McKay is poised to possibly be the top overall pick in June's MLB First-Year Player Draft. The junior is hitting .363 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI for a .728 slugging percentage, while on the mound he is 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 91 innings.
- Adam Haseley, LHP/OF, Jr., Virginia: Haseley pushed McKay throughout ACC play and helped the Cavaliers return to the postseason. On the mound Haseley is 7-1 with a 3.58 ERA, striking out 53 in 65.1 innings, and at the plate, he's hitting .399 with 14 home runs and 54 RBI.
- Alex Troop, LHP/OF, Soph., Michigan State: Troop led the Spartans to a solid overall season and proved to be a leader for the team both on the mound and at the plate. He hit .321 with three home runs and 12 RBI while at the plate and was 8-3 with a 2.47 ERA, striking out 83 in 83.2 innings, on the mound.
- Jake Meyers, LHP/OF, Jr., Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are headed back to the NCAA postseason and were the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, and Meyers was a big key to getting them there. As the ace of the staff, he was 8-1 with a 3.09 ERA, striking out 52 in 78.2 innings. At the plate, he hit .302 with a home run and 16 RBI, committing just one error all season.
- Braden Zarbnisky, RHP/OF, Soph., West Virginia: Zarbnisky's late-season surge has helped position West Virginia for its first postseason berth since 1996 as one of the top relievers in the nation. He is hitting .314 with a home run and seven RBI, while on the mound, he is 5-1 with a 2.64 ERA. In 20 appearances, he has struck out 40 batters in 30.2 innings.
For more information on the Olerud Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.