Even in a year when new bat standards resulted in diminished offense and stronger pitching numbers across the country, UCLA junior righthander Trevor Bauer stood out. Bauer’s mind-boggling strikeout numbers and remarkable consistency made him Baseball America’s 2011 College Player of the Year.
Bauer leads a group of four repeat members of BA’s College All-America team. Like Bauer, Virginia’s Danny Hultzen and Texas’ Taylor Jungmann were second-teamers as sophomores who became first-teamers in 2011. Utah’s C.J. Cron moved up from the third team to the first team. Hultzen was also a third-teamer as a freshman, making him the lone three-time All-American on the list.
Four members of BA’s preseason All-America first team earned postseason first-team honors, as well: Hultzen, Jungmann, LSU’s Mikie Mahtook and Hawaii’s Kolten Wong. Overall just 12 preseason All-Americans (including Bauer, a second-teamer) landed on the postseason team. In 2010, 18 preseason All-Americans landed on the postseason team.
CMike Zunino, Florida
1BC.J. Cron, Utah
The Southeastern Conference player of the year, Zunino was a beast against elite SEC competition. In conference games, he led the league in slugging (.750), runs (36), RBIs (33) and doubles (14) and ranked second in batting (.422), OBP (.477) and homers (eight).
Cron, the son of former big leaguer Chris Cron, might be college baseball’s premier offensive player. Cron led the nation in OPS (1.320) and slugging, and he performed just as well against Utah’s rigorous nonconference slate as in the Mountain West.
2BKolten Wong, Hawaii
3BColin Moran, North Carolina
If Cron or Rice’s Anthony Rendon isn’t the nation’s best pure hitter, Wong is. His compact swing is a thing of beauty, and his equally compact frame is both strong and athletic. He also made great strides in his second season at second base, fielding .961.
The ACC’s freshman of the year and the lone freshman on our first team, Moran assumed the role of primary run producer in the heart of the lineup for the No. 3 national seed. He hit for power, led the league in RBIs and showed advanced discipline.
SSBrad Miller, Clemson
OFJason Krizan, Dallas Baptist
After missing nine games in the first half with a broken finger, Miller returned to the lineup afire. He hit a league-best .395 in ACC games and won conference player of the year honors. Miller overcame the defensive woes of his first two years, fielding .950.
After two standout seasons, Krizan made the leap to elite status as a senior, setting an NCAA record with 39 doubles (and counting, through regionals). He also led the nation in hits and ranked third in RBIs, leading the Patriots to their first super regional.
OFMikie Mahtook, Lousiana State
OFVictor Roache, Georgia Southern
After posting a 52-95 walk-strikeout mark in his first two seasons, Mahtook posted a 41-32 BB-K mark as a junior, and his OPS spiked from 1.056 to 1.205. An all-around performer, Mahtook led the SEC in batting (.425) and OBP (.538) in league play.
Roache arrived at Georgia Southern as a talented but raw Michigan product, and he learned to harness his raw power as a sophomore this spring, leading the nation in home runs by six and ranking second in RBIs. He hit five times as many homers as any GSU teammate.
DHJake Lowery, James Madison
UTDanny Hultzen, Virginia
Lowery’s 91 RBIs are the most by a college player since Buster Posey’s 93 in 2008. He also ranked second in the nation in homers and fourth in triples (eight), threw out 43 percent of basestealers and led JMU to a runner-up finish in the Chapel Hill Regional.
Hultzen’s increased fastball velocity and superb feel for a three-pitch mix helped him get drafted second overall. His offensive re-emergence also helped lead UVa to a third straight super regional.
SPTrevor Bauer, UCLA
SPSean Gilmartin, Florida State
No pitcher was as utterly dominant as Bauer, who finished the season with nine consecutive complete games and a Pac-10-record 203 strikeouts—55 more than second-place Danny Hultzen. He also was tied for the national lead in wins and third in ERA.
Improved command of his fastball, a better slider and a superb changeup helped Gilmartin carve up the ACC. As the only reliable starting pitcher on FSU’s staff, he led the Seminoles to their 11th super regional in 13 seasons in the 64-team era.
SPTaylor Jungmann, Texas
SPMichael Roth, South Carolina
Jungmann was 13-0, 0.95 in the regular season before taking the first home loss of his career in regionals. At 32-7, 1.78 in three years—including two wins in the 2009 College World Series— Jungmann is one of the most accomplished pitchers in school history.
A College World Series hero as a sophomore—when he morphed from lefty specialist to complete-game ace—Roth had just four career starts heading into 2011. He had no trouble anchoring South Carolina’s rotation, leading all starting pitchers in the nation in ERA.
RPCody Martin, Gonzaga
Martin racked up 15 saves in his first two seasons at Gonzaga, then went 5-7, 6.55 as a starter in 2010. He thrived back in the bullpen as a senior, leading the nation in ERA and batting average against thanks to a quality four-pitch mix.