OMAHA, Neb. – Arkansas junior outfielder Andrew Benintendi joins a long list of baseball legends to have his name etched into the historic Dick Howser Trophy as the top collegiate baseball player in the country.
In the midst of the most prolific season in Razorback history, Benintendi has been named the winner of the 2015 Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations and announced by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The formal presentation will take place Saturday morning at a 10 a.m. press conference at TD Ameritrade Park.
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 which were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.
Past winners of the prestigious award include Robin Ventura, Jason Varitek, Todd Helton, J.D. Drew, Mark Teixeira, Buster Posey, Stephen Strasburg and most recently Kentucky’s AJ Reed in 2014 as the best collegiate baseball player in the nation.
Currently tied for the national lead in home runs, Benintendi has now been named the Dick Howser Trophy winner, the Baseball America National Player of the Year, the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year and the SEC Player of the Year. He is also one of four finalists for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award.
Benintendi was recently drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the seventh overall pick, making him the third-highest drafted player in program history behind Jeff King going No. 1 overall in 1986 and Kevin McReynolds at No. 6 overall in 1981.
The Cincinnati native is on the brink of becoming the third player in SEC history to lead the league in home runs and batting average, currently holding a one-homer lead and five-point edge in batting average. He would join Rafael Palmeiro (Miss. State in ‘84) and Jeff Abbott (UK in ‘94) as the only players in conference history to accomplish the feat.
The sophomore is one of two players in the country to rank in the top 15 in home runs and batting average and one of two individuals in the nation with 15-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases. He is just one home run away from being the fifth player in school history to reach 20 home runs in a season.
In the best baseball conference in America, Benintendi leads the SEC in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, on base percentage and walks, and is the only player in the nation to rank in the top 25 nationally in every category.
Benintendi is the seventh SEC player to be named the National Player of the Year by Baseball America, joining Dave Magadan (Alabama, 1983), Ben McDonald (LSU, 1989), Todd Helton (Tennessee, 1995), David Price (Vanderbilt, 2007), Mike Zunino (Florida, 2012) and AJ Reed (Kentucky, 2014).
Benintendi will make his College World Series debut on Saturday when Arkansas takes on Virginia at 2 p.m. at TD Ameritrade Park.
Awards and Accolades
• Dick Howser Trophy Winner
• Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year
• Baseball America National Player of the Year
• Southeastern Conference Player of the Year
• Golden Spikes Award Finalist
• Is the first National Player of the Year in program history.
• Is the first SEC Player of the Year in program history.
• Is the first Razorback to win a major SEC award since Nick Schmidt won Pitcher of the Year in 2006.
• Is the first player in school history with at least 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season.
• On pace to become the first player in SEC history to win the batting title, home run title and Player of the Year.
• On pace to become the third player in SEC history to finish the year as the league leader in home runs and batting average.
• Is currently tied for the national lead with 19 home runs on the year.
• Is one of only two players in the country with 15-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases (Only player in the CWS).
• Currently leads the SEC in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, on base percentage and walks.
• Is 12 RBI’s shy of becoming the second Triple Crown winner in SEC history.
• Leads all sophomores in the country in batting average, home runs and slugging percentage.
• One home run away from being one of five players in school history to reach 20 home runs in a season.
• Is tied for the national lead with 19 home runs on the year.
• Is third in the country with a .715 slugging percentage (Highest in the CWS).
• His current .715 slugging percentage ranks him seventh all-time in Razorback season-season history.
• Ranks eighth in the SEC with 55 RBI’s on the year (12 behind leader).
• Had a span of four home runs in six plate appearances against Mississippi Valley State and Kentucky.
• Leads the SEC with a .489 on base percentage (Highest in the CWS).
• Leads the SEC with a .380 batting average (Highest in the CWS).
• His .380 batting average would be the highest at Arkansas since 2010, when Zack Cox set the school record at .429.
• Is second in the SEC with 158 total bases (six behind the leader).
• Is fourth in the SEC with 23 stolen bases on the year.
• Is third in the SEC with 61 runs scored.
• Was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the seventh overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft
• Is the third-highest MLB Draft pick in school history, behind Jeff King (No. 1 in 1986) and Kevin McReynolds (No. 6 in 1981).
• Is the eighth first round draft pick in school history and first since Ryne Stanek in 2013.
• Is the third Arkansas player in the last two years selected by the Red Sox (Jalen Beeks, Michael Gunn).
• Was one of seven SEC players taken in the first round and third highest pick.
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