Mississippi State’s Jacob Lindgren has had a memorable week.
Not only was the junior relief pitcher drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2nd round on Thursday night, he was named as a finalist for the Stopper of the Year and most recently one of 12 finalists for the Gregg Olson Award.
The Olson Award is given annually to the college baseball breakout player of the year and is named after the former Auburn and MLB closer.
Lindgren improved his 4-3 record and 4.18 earned run average as a sophomore to 6-1 and a 0.88 ERA this season. The Bay St. Louis native finished with 100 strikeouts this season and led the country among relief pitchers in that category.
The southpaw was the Bulldogs lone first-team, All-SEC performer. The Olson Award will be presented during the College World Series later this month.
The twelve finalists are:
Will Allen, C –Mississippi
Last season Allen was last amongst Rebel everyday starters with a 231 batting average. This season he has been in contention for Johnny Bench Award and Dick Howser Trohpy as he has led Ole Miss to the Super Regionals with his .351 batting average and stellar play behind the plate.
Jace Conrad, 2B – Louisiana
Conrad put up respectable numbers last season hitting .286, but has erupted this season. Conrad won the Sun Belt Player of the Year honor and has helped guide the top ranked Ragin’ Cajuns with a .377 average with over 30 extra base hits.
Tyler Davis, SP – Washington
Davis was 2-7 last season with a 5.11 ERA, a far cry from his remarkable output this year. The Huskies’ hurler finished with a 1.60 ERA and 11-2 record. Davis helped lead UW to its first NCAA tournament game in 10 years.
Mike Franco, SP – Florida International
Franco had a pedestrian 5-4 record last season with an equally unimpressive 5.23 ERA. This year he has been the ace of one of the nation’s most dominating pitching staffs, going 9-3 for FIU with a tiny 1.09 ERA which places him second in the nation.
Casey Jones, UTL – Elon
Jones was a part-time starter last season, batting 287 with 25 runs. This year he earned the SoCon Player of the Year title as well as All American accolades after finishing in the top five in the nation in batting at .418 with over 30 extra base hits.
Nathan Kirby, SP – Virginia
Virginia’s Nathan Kirby had a respectable 4-1 record last season, but his inflated 6.06 ERA didn’t do much to put fear in opposing batters. This year he intimidated teams all season going 9-1 with a 1.36 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 99 innings.
Jacob Lindgren, RP – Mississippi State
Lindgren was 4-3 with a 4.18 ERA as a starter for the Bulldogs last season. He moved to the bullpen this year where he flourished. He was named a finalist for the Stopper of the Year as he posted a 0.81 ERA and K’d a phenomenal 100 batters in just 55 innings.
Jordan Luplow, OF – Fresno State
Luplow batted .278 last season and his honors were limited to his academic successes. In 2014 the Bulldog outfielder was named the Mountain West Player of the Year after hitting .377 with 21 doubles and nine homeruns.
Sam Moore, RP – UC Irvine
Moore had a robust 5.06 ERA in 12 uneventful appearances last season. This year Moore has a chance to break the NCAA single season record for saves as he has 23 so far with a 1.88 ERA as UCI plays for a return trip to Omaha.
Tyler Neslony, OF – Texas Tech
Neslony’s on the field action was sparse and unimposing last year, only batting .227 in a small role. This year the sophomore outfielder’s elevated play has the Red Raiders on the verge of heading to Omaha as he his hitting a robust .393.
Max Pentecost, C – Kennesaw State
Pentecost put up solid numbers last year; however he has blossomed this season to become a Dick Howser Award finalist and first round draft selection. The Owls’ slugger is hitting .423 with 23 doubles and 9 homeruns along with 17 stolen bases.
Drew Weeks, OF – North Florida
Weeks almost hit .300 last season, finishing at .298. This year he’s skipped the .300s altogether, finishing the year with a nation topping .430 average . He also had 13 doubles, four triples and six homeruns for the Ospreys.