June 18, 2002
Florida State shortstop Stephen Drew was named Baseball America’s Freshman of the Year on Tuesday. Despite missing 28 games with a fractured foot early in the season, Drew led the Seminoles with a .402 batting average and was second on the team with 16 home runs. Drew, a native of Hahira, Ga., was equally impressive on defense as he was charged with just nine errors and finished with a fielding percentage of .961.
“He came in here and got it done,” said head coach Mike Martin. “He’s not been intimidated by any situation he’s faced. There have been a lot of outstanding players come in here and make contributions, but not to the extent that he has. Stephen has certainly come up and produced with the game on the line. He’s a difference-maker.”
Drew helped lead Florida State to both the regular season and ACC Tournament championships. The Seminoles finished 60-14, recording the second-highest win total in school history. FSU came up one game short of reaching the College World Series, losing to Notre Dame in the final game of the NCAA Super Regional.
“It’s a great honor to be named Freshman of the Year and I appreciate it, but I would trade any of that to still be playing right now,” said Drew. “Obviously we are very disappointed the way the season ended. I think everybody will work even harder in the offseason and in the fall so we can hopefully get to Omaha next year. We do lose some great players like Ryan Barthelemy, but we have some really talented guys coming back.”
Drew was one of three ACC players on Baseball America’s Freshman All-America First Team. Eric Patterson (second base) and Jeremy Slayden (outfield) of Georgia Tech represented the conference as well. Catcher Chris Iannetta of North Carolina and pitcher Tim Layden of Duke were listed on the second team.