Monday, December 10, 2007

Wallace Award Nominees

The watchlist for the 2008 Brooks Wallace Award has been released. For those of you new to college baseball, and as the hits are up, I'm guessing not all of you are familiar with this stuff, the Wallace Award is one of 265 college player of the year honors.

The good news about the '08 Wallace Award watchlist is that a number of Big Ten players have been nominated. Here's the list:

Zach Putnam, Michigan
Derek VanBuskirk, Michigan
Nate Hanson, Minnesota
Matt Nohelty, Minnesota
Jake Owens, Northwestern
Justin Miller, Ohio State
Drew O'Neil, Penn State
Matt Bischoff, Purdue
Ryne White, Purdue

All fine selections. I congratulate all of them on the recognition. However, and you knew there was going to be an "however", a couple of players got left off the list. Actually, more than a couple. I'll begin by hitting the obvious ones out of the park first.

Michigan's Nate Recknagel and Jason Christian were omitted. Big, honkin' boo-boo by those that make the list. Yeah, I know. You already had two Maize and Bluers, can't have more than that. Someone might think those northern boys can play.

Another glaring omission is Michigan State's Chris Roberts. I know Roberts is only a sophomore, but he hit cleanup as a freshman and should be ready to explode in his second campaign.

Then, we come to a pair of Indiana second year standouts. Both Matt Bashore and Josh Phegley got overlooked. Two more enormous mistakes.

Are you kidding me? Where in the world are Ohio State's Jake Hale and J.B. Shuck? No sign of either and that's simply hard to imagine.

That's seven huge and I mean HUGE errors of omission. Several somebodies were asleep at the wheel during this nomination process. Now, if I were asked to submit a list, here are some other names that I'd be pondering.

Spartans Kyle Day and Steve Gerstenberger, as well as, Illinois' Tanner Roark, Ryan Hastings and Brandon Wikoff.

Two more Hoosiers in the form of Andrew Means and Evan Crawford, plus Iowa's Kevin Hoef who just tore up the Cape Cod League. Jake Goebbert of Northwestern got hosed in this process, as well. As did Joe Blackburn of Penn State.

All this makes you wonder if anyone from the Big Ten submit a list? It's also indicative of the general lack of knowledge about Big Ten baseball amongst those who are "in the know" around college baseball.