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Initial 2019 Olerud Award Watch List is released
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

Class

School

Conference

Nick Anderson

Sr.

UC-Irvine

Big West

Clayton Andrews

Jr.

Long Beach State

Big West

Austin Baine

Sr.

LSU

SEC

Daniel Cabrera

Fr.

LSU

SEC

Mike Cassala

Jr.

Jacksonville

Atlantic Sun

Teddy Cillis

Sr.

Hofstra

Colonial

Jake Crawford

Jr.

Furman

Southern

Tanner Dodson

Jr.

California

Pac-12

Trish English

Soph.

Georgia Tech

ACC

Kody Funderburk

Jr.

Dallas Baptist

Missouri Valley

Chris Gau

Jr.

Jacksonville

Atlantic Sun

Connor Grammes

Soph.

Xavier

Big East

Nick Horvath

Sr.

LSU

SEC

Isaiah Kearns

Soph.

West Virginia

Big 12

Jack Labosky

Sr.

Duke

ACC

Alvin Melendez

Soph.

Fordham

Atlantic 10

Austin Langworthy

Soph.

Florida

SEC

John McMillon

Soph.

Texas Tech

Big 12

Ryne Nelson

Soph.

Oregon

Pac-12

Aaron Schunk

Soph.

Georgia

SEC

Matt Wallner

Soph.

Southern Miss

Conference USA

Brooks Wilson

Sr.

Stetson

Atlantic Sun

Kurt Wilson

Fr.

Texas Tech

Big 12

Kenyon Yovan

Soph.

Oregon

Pac-12

Braden Zarbnisky

Jr.

West Virginia

Big 12

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