Who are the All-SEC players on this Ole Miss team?
We batted that question around in the press box Saturday prior to the Rebels’ comeback win over Kentucky to complete the sweep against the Wildcats.
JB Woodman comes immediately to mind, but it hasn’t been that way all season. Woodman has had a monster back half of the season, slapping home runs all over the place to the point that he now leads the SEC in that category with 13.
That’s one more than Kentucky’s Javon Shelby with 12.
Woodman had two hits and two RBIs in the loss and is hitting .327, third on the team, and he’s hitting .340 in SEC play.
He’s fourth in the SEC in slugging percentage at .582 and tied for eighth in RBIs with 49.
A finalist for the Ferriss Trophy, which is presented to Mississippi’s top college player, Woodman is tied for the national lead in outfield assists with nine. He’s thrown out seven runners at home plate.
Woodman doesn’t cover as much ground in center field as Auston Bousfield did, but frankly, I’ve not see any college player that covered as much.
Woodman, though, fields his position gracefully and finds ways to get things done.
It would seem that Woodman would be a first-team lock, but you never know how coaches’ voting will go.
Outside of Woodman this has been a team without many dominant players.
Wyatt Short as a closer is a solid bet, as is Henri Lartigue at catcher.
Lartigue leads all catchers with a .358 batting average. That’s No. 1 at Ole Miss and No. 7 in the league.
Offensive statistics are so important in all-conference voting, because that’s all some people see.
That mindset could work against Errol Robinson at shortstop.
It looked like Robinson was feeling the weight of his preseason All-America status early in the year, but he’s had a great second half of the season, better than Woodman in terms of batting average.
Robinson was at or below .200 at times early in the year and has gotten his average up to .279.
I think he’s had his best year defensively. It just seems to me that he covers more ground, and he makes up for not having a rocket arm with a smooth and quick release.
Tate Blackman’s .330 batting average could get him some looks, and he’s a good story based on his struggles last year as a highly recruited freshman, but I think he’s been rather average defensively at second base.