TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Catcher Mat Nelson, the nation’s leader in home runs entering the NCAA Tournament and the offensive and defensive leader for the Seminoles, was named a finalist for both the Dick Howser Trophy and the Buster Posey Award. The Dick Howser Trophy is given to the nation’s top player and is one of five finalists with Texas Tech’s Jace Jung, Vanderbilt pitchers Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter, and Arkansas reliever Kevin Kopps.
The Buster Posey Award is given to the nation’s top catcher and will be presented to either Nelson, Louisville’s Henry Davis or Baylor’s Andy Thomas. Both the Posey and Howser Awards are named after former Seminole baseball All-Americans.
Nelson is also one of 25 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award, presented by USA Baseball to the nation’s best player. The Golden Spikes Award has a fan-vote component and Seminole fans are encouraged to vote for Nelson up to 25 days per day here.
Already this year Nelson has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and a first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
Nelson, a third-year sophomore, led the Florida State offense all season, slashing .330/.436/.773 with 23 home runs, the most in the country. Nelson led FSU with 17 doubles, 64 hits, 66 RBI (most in the ACC) and was second on the team with four stolen bases and 31 walks.
Behind the plate, Nelson, from Largo, Florida, threw out 16 would-be basestealers and was FSU’s defensive leader all season. He led the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament for the 43rd consecutive season, one shy of the all-time record for consecutive postseason appearances.
Nelson was the eighth Seminole, and first since DJ Stewart in 2014, to win ACC Player of the Year. His 23 home runs this season are the most for a Nole since Buster Posey, the only other FSU catcher to win Player of the Year, had 26 in 2008.
Nelson is one of 25 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top amateur baseball player. Posey, in 2008, is one of four former Seminoles to win the award, joining Mike Fuentes (1981), Mike Loynd (1986) and J.D. Drew (1997).
Posey is also the namesake for the top catching honor in college baseball. Previously named for Johnny Bench, Posey won the award in 2008 and had the award named for him in 2019.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).