2010 Dick Howser Award Finalists

FROM NCBWA RELEASE

OMAHA, Neb. – Miami (Fla.) catcher Yasmani Grandal, Mississippi pitcher Drew Pomeranz and Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon have been named as finalists for the 2010 Dick Howser Trophy in balloting by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and in conjunction with the College Baseball Foundation, the Dick Howser Trophy committee and the St Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

The winner of the Howser Trophy will be announced in Lubbock, Texas, on July 2, during the College Baseball Awards Show, held at the United Spirit Arena and shown on MLB.com. The nationally broadcasted event will follow the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 1 in Lubbock.

All three finalists for the 24th Annual Howser Trophy embody the principles of character, leadership, desire, and competitive spirit exhibited by Dick Howser, the All-America shortstop and later head coach at Florida State, before managing the Kansas City Royals to the world championship in 1985.

Grandal had one of the most impressive offensive seasons in Miami history, leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in batting average (.401), slugging percentage (.721) and on-base percentage (.527). He is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award in addition to being named the 2010 ACC Player of the Year and a first team NCBWA Pro-Line Athletic All-America selection. Grandal was also selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. On the year, he has 89 hits, 24 doubles, 15 homers, 60 RBI, 57 walks, 56 runs scored and 160 total bases in 62 games.

Pomeranz finished the year with a 9-2 record and held a 2.24 ERA to go along with 139 strikeouts. The junior was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year for his efforts, becoming the first Ole Miss pitcher to claim the award since its inception in 2003. His 139 strikeouts ranks second all-time on the single-season list and pushed him to 344 strikeouts for his career, setting a new career record for strikeouts. The left-handed pitcher is a first team NCBWA Pro-Line Athletic All-America selection and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians with the fifth overall pick in the MLB Draft – the highest draft pick in Ole Miss history.

Rendon is just the second player in Conference USA history to be named Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. He picked up that honor again this year while leading the Owls to the regular season league championship and the school’s 16th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. The two-time first team All-C-USA selection was named to the C-USA Championship All-Tournament team and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Austin Regional. He batted .402 in conference play and finished the season hitting .394 overall. Rendon led Conference USA in home runs with 26 and had more homers than strikeouts (22) all season long. Rendon ranks among the nation’s leaders in runs scored (83) and walks (65) while maintaining a .530 on-base percentage. He had 12 doubles and 85 RBI, while posting an .801 slugging percentage.

The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.

A Florida native, Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State University (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.

NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport’s only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.

The College Baseball Foundation was established in 2004 and has inducted 57 greats into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock. The group promotes the highest ideals and recognition of greatness on college baseball diamonds in the 150 years since the first intercollegiate contest in 1859 between Amherst and Williams.

The groups also have come together in 2010 to select the Dick Howser Trophy, Brooks Wallace Award (Division I Shortstop of the Year), NCBWA Stopper of the Year, CBF Pitcher of the Year, John Olerud Award (top two-way player) and NCBWA National Coach of the Year. The Pro-Line Athletic/NCBWA All-America and Freshman All-America teams, the NCBWA Freshman Player and Pitcher of the Year also are being presented by these national entities.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser’s death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008 and Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009.

Statistics on Three Finalists for 2010 (Through June 13):

Pos. Name, School, Class    Avg.    G    AB  R  H  2B-3B-HR RBIs BB SO  SB/SBA
C  Yasmani Grandal, Miami, Jr.   .401      62  222 56 89 24-1-15   60  57 35  1/2
3B Anthony Rendon, Rice, So.     .394      63  226 83 89 12-1-26   85  65 22  14/18
 
Pos. Name School, Class             W-L ERA  APP GS CG SV  IP   BB       SO 
SP   Drew Pomeranz, Ole Miss, So.   9-2 2.24 16  16 0  0  100.2 49       139