IRVING, Texas – Coming off a year filled with surprises such as Stony Brook’s and Kent State’s first trips to the NCAA World Series and several other national developments, the 13th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason All-America team highlights the always exciting world of the nation’s best baseball student-athletes for 2013.
Next month’s practices signify the 154th season of college baseball with the 2013 All-Americasquad signify the direction that Division I baseball continues to go – clutch hitting, solid defense and pinpoint control pitching. With defending NCAA World Series champ Arizona hit heavily by graduation and signings, the upcoming crop of stars hails from the talented Pac-12 diamond tradition as well as 19 conferences and 43 schools nationwide.
Returning first team standouts from the post-2012 NCBWA All-America team embody this DI diversity as New Mexico 3B and 2012 co-Mountain West Conference Player of the Year (with teammate and first team pre-2013 catcher Mitchell Garver) and LSU OF Raph Rhymes, the ’12 SEC Player of the Year, lead the way. In consultation with individual schools’ media relations offices, the NCBWA All-America committee for pre-2013 had many difficult decisions at defensive positions filled with potential superstars and one of the deepest pools of pitching nominees in the two decades of NCBWA All-America crews chosen prior to playing seasons.
First team hurlers include starters and returning All-America righthander Mark Appel of Stanford, 2012 NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year Carlos Rodon of NC State, Adam Plutko of NCAA World Series entry UCLA, Army’s Chris Rowley, and Missouri State’s Nick Petree. That quintet combined for a 52-10 overall mound record, .839 winning percentage and 568 strikeouts in 570 innings pitched.
Relief standout of NCAA runner up South Carolina– Tyler Webb – also garnered second team honors with 39 appearances, a 1.56 ERA, 6-1 record, three saves, and 58 whiffs in 57 2/3 innings of work. He was part of a second team pitching group with a 12-game winner, an 11-contest winner and three relief specialists with earned run averages under 2.10. Notables among the first team hitters are Wichita State’s slugging first baseman Johnny Coy, Stephen F. Austin shortstop Hunter Dozier, NCAA regional contenders OF Michael Conforto of Oregon State and Dallas Baptist’s boomin’ Boomer Collins along with West Coast Conference Player of the Year Marco Gonzales. He batted .325 as a regular while posting a 8-2 record and 1.55 ERA in 12 starts as a pitcher.New Mexico’s Peterson paces the first unit in home runs and RBI with 17 and 78, respectively, while LSU’s Rhymes led the nation in batting throughout the season and ended atop the stats with a .431 batting average.
2012 NCBWA Freshman All-America pitcher Mike Compton (12-2) of Florida State also paced the third team with the most wins among that group.Miami(Ohio) OF Matt Honchel topped the second team with a heady .395 batting average. Last season the scribes’ committee chose Florida All-America catcher Mike Zunino to the preseason A-A team, and he delivered with the 2012 Dick Howser Trophy (first Gator to hold this honor, .322-19 HR-67 RBI for the season), paced the Gators to the CWS and was consensus All-America. There may be a Zunino-like appearance on the horizon for 2013 after last spring’s extraordinary happenings. Many of these stars will appear on the first ballot for the 27th annual Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations and the St. Petersburg(Fla.) Area Chamber of Commerce and voted upon by the NCBWA membership. The Howser Trophy will be awarded in Omaha,Neb., in June 2013, just before the start of the 66th annual NCAA World Series.
2013 NCBWA Preseason All-America Team (Download as PDF: 2013 NCBWA Preseason All-American Teams)
|SS||Hunter||Dozier||Stephen F. Austin||Jr.|
|SP||Carlos||Rodon||North Carolina St||So.|
|3B||Trea||Turner||North Carolina St||So.|
|UT||Michael||Lorenzen||Cal St Fullerton||Jr.|
|OF||Tim||Colwell||North Dakota St||Jr.|
|SP||Matt||Pegler||College of Charleston||Sr.|
|SP||Andrew||Vasquez||UC Santa Barbara||So.|