Dec. 5, 2008
LUBBOCK, Texas – With the Florida State baseball season still two and a half months from opening day, the Seminoles are already making headlines as three student-athletes were named to the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Pre-Season Watch List as announced by the College Baseball Foundation in conjunction with Mizuno and the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Junior Jason Stidham and sophomores Tyler Holt and Stuart Tapley were all recognized on this year’s watch list.
For the second year in a row, Stidham has been named to the Wallace Award Watch List. The Palm Bay, Fla., native will make his third position change in as many years as Stidham will start at shortstop when the Seminoles hit the field in 2009. Stidham made 64 starts in 2008 compiling 82 hits in 255 at-bats en route to a .322 average. He finished third on the team in home runs (11) and fourth in RBI with 63. Stidham closed out his sophomore campaign on a strong note hitting .477 with a team-high 21 hits in the NCAA Tournament.
Holt earned Freshman All-American recognition while finishing the year ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in walks (64), runs scored (83) and on-base percentage (.471). Holt made an immediate impact for the Seminoles in 2008 as the Gainesville, Fla., native reached base in every regular season game, a streak spanning 55 consecutive games. He finished the year hitting .324 from the lead-off spot while swiping a team-high 15 bases. Holt was also the only Seminole to reach the five-hit plateau in 2008.
All Tapley did in his first season at Florida State was register the tenth highest batting average in school history under 200 at-bats. The Freshman All-American ranked second on the team in hitting (.383) and tied for fourth with eight home runs in 57 starts. He settled in nicely at third base as he closed out the year on a 34-game errorless streak.
A total of 20 student-athletes from the ACC were named to the Watch List including three schools that listed three or more nominees. North Carolina leads the league with four players on the list followed by Florida State and Duke with three.
The Wallace Award is presented to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual induction festivities. The 2009 award banquet will be held Thursday, July 2, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.
The Brooks Wallace Award committee has recognized a Florida State student-athlete as a finalist over the last two years. Last year, the award was presented to Seminole catcher Buster Posey, while in 2007 second baseman Tony Thomas, Jr. was named a finalist.
The Wallace Award is dedicated in memory of former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace.