The inaugural NCAA Division I season has finally come to a close with the announcement of the league’s player awards, following last week’s Indiana Hoosiers victory over the UCLA Bruins to claim the College World Series.
The two Players of the Year were RHP T.J. Burlingame (USC) for the Southeast/Pac-12 region, and RF/SS John Housley (Iowa) for the Atantic Coast/Big Ten region.
Burlingame was key for the Trojans season which saw them enter the playoffs as the PAC-12 conference leaders. The senior, an L.A. local, finished the season 6-1 with an ERA of 2.56. His WHIP was an enviable 1.00 and he struck out batters at a pace of 12.4 per 9 IP, earning the nod as the most feared power hurler in the NCAA. He was just shy of the strikeout title, ending up with 112 on the season, one behind Duke’s Andy Lollis.
Meanwhile, Iowa Hawkeyes senior Housley made a name for himself in the Big Ten Conference, despite Iowa’s poor 24-32 finish. He was noticed for his conference-leading 27 home runs, and his incredible ability to read pitches and patiently draw walks on top of his hot bat. He hit .355, but earned an NCAA-leading 70 walks as well, giving him a OBP of .521 to lead the NCAA (tied with Michigan State’s Alec Burleson). Housley’s OPS of 1.331 was a solid jump over home run title winner Brian Goldstein (Florida State), who had 1.245 despite hitting an NCAA-leading 31 homers.
The NCAA players are now preparing for meetings with various Bull League scouts as teams prepare for the June draft, which could see top players like Burlingame and Housley making waves in the pros in just a couple of seasons.