FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas junior pitchers Ryne Stanek
and Colby Suggs
were selected to Perfect Game’s
preseason All-SEC team, released on Monday. In addition, Stanek was projected as the SEC Pitcher of the Year, while sophomore infielder Brett McAfee
was projected as the league’s top transfer.
A native of Overland Park, Kan., Stanek has developed into one of the top pitchers in college baseball. The right hander started 17 games as a sophomore and finished the season with an 8-4 record and a 2.82 ERA. He ranked tied for 10th in the SEC in ERA, 10th in opposing batting average (.229), tied for 10th in innings pitched (92.2), 12th in strikeouts (83) and tied for seventh in wins. Stanek, who has been named a preseason All-American by Perfect Game
and Collegiate Baseball
, saved some of his best performances for the postseason. In three postseason starts last season, Stanek compiled a 2-0 record with a 1.59 ERA. He threw eight scoreless innings in Arkansas’ victory over Rice in the Houston Regional and was named Most Outstanding Player of the regional. In the College World Series, Stanek allowed just one run on three hits over six innings in the Razorbacks’ victory over South Carolina.
Through his first two seasons as a Razorback, Stanek has a 12-6 record with a 3.27 ERA. In 156.2 innings of work, Stanek has struck out 124 batters and has held the opposition to a .222 batting average.
Suggs was one of the best relievers out of the Arkansas bullpen in 2012. The Sulphur Springs, Texas, native appeared in 30 games, all in relief, last season and finished the year with a 7-1 record with a 1.38 ERA. Suggs, who has been named a preseason All-American by the NCBWA, Perfect Game
and Collegiate Baseball
set a new Arkansas single-season record for fewest runs allowed (minimum 30 innings pitched) by giving up just six runs during the season. Suggs held opposing hitters to a .203 batting average, while striking out 36 batters in 39 innings of work. Suggs ranked tied for 10th in the SEC in wins and was tied for 10th in appearances. Suggs did not allow a run in 24 of his 30 outings last season and had streaks of eight and 11 consecutive appearances without allowing a run.
Suggs has pitched in 42 games in his Razorback career and has a 9-2 record with a 1.22 ERA. He has struck out 58 batters in 59 innings of work and opposing batters are hitting just .171 against him.
McAfee joins the Razorback program after playing one season at Panola Junior College. McAfee missed much of his freshman year at Panola due to injury, but hit .291 with a home run, five doubles and seven RBI in 16 games. Despite the injuries, McAfee has been selected in the MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays each of the last two years.
In addition to the all-conference teams, Perfect Game
also released its top 20 SEC draft prospects for the 2013 MLB Draft. Stanek was tabbed as the league’s No. 1 prospect, while Suggs was selected as the 10th-best prospect in the conference. Junior right hander Barrett Astin
was picked as the league’s 14th-best prospect, while junior infielder Dominic Ficociello
was selected as the 20th-best prospect.
In Perfect Game’s
projected SEC standings, Arkansas was picked to win the SEC Western Division and was one of four league teams projected to go to the College World Series in 2013.
The Arkansas baseball team opens the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15, when it faces Western Illinois at Baum Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.