Dec. 12, 2007
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 2008 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Pre-Season Watch List as announced by the College Baseball Foundation. Senior Ryan Strauss, junior Buster Posey and sophomore Jason Stidham were all recognized on this year’s watch list.
Strauss enters the 2008 season as the only returning starter from last year’s weekend rotation where he posted a record of 10-3 and a 3.40 ERA. The senior right hander threw 87.1 innings a season ago registering 56 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .260 batting average. Strauss ended the 2007 season on a positive note as he scattered six hits over seven innings in a 17-1 Florida State victory over Stetson in an elimination game in the NCAA Tournament.
Stidham earned Freshman All-American recognition as well as first-team All-ACC honors after starting in 61 games at third base a season ago. The Palm Bay, Fla., native ranked fourth on the team with a .366 batting average posting 86 hits in 235 at-bats while posting 17 doubles, six home runs and 48 RBI in 2007. Stidham missed the fall season after recovering from off-season surgery and in on track to start on opening day for the Seminoles as they take on Duquesne Friday, February 22.
Posey moved from shortstop to catcher as a sophomore and made a smooth transition starting in all 62 games from behind the plate posting an impressive .994 fielding percentage, committing just three errors in 478 total chances. The Leesburg, Ga., native ranked fifth in the ACC in hitting (.382), second in doubles (21), third in hits (94) and RBI (65) and fourth in runs scored with 66. He was named to the All-ACC first-team in 2007, while earning first team All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball. Posey was also named a finalist for the Coleman Company – Johnny Bench Award, presented to the nation’s top collegiate catcher. Along with catching for Florida State, Posey will also see some action on the hill for the Seminoles in 2008.
A total of 24 student-athletes from the ACC were named to the Watch List including four schools that listed three or more nominees. North Carolina and Miami each placed four players on the list followed by Florida State and Boston College 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 2008 award banquet will be held Thursday, July 3, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.
Last year, second baseman Tony Thomas, Jr. was recognized as a finalist for the award after having one of the finest offensive seasons in Florida State history.
The Wallace Award is a dedication to the memory of the former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace.