DALLAS -- Sawyer Carroll and Collin Cowgill have been tabbed two of 50 players named to the Dick Howser Trophy Watch List, an award given annually to the top player in college baseball, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced Thursday.
The Wildcat outfielders form one of the top offensive units in college baseball, ranking among the Southeastern Conference and NCAA leaders in nearly every offensive category. Carroll and Cowgill are two of eight SEC players named to the list, joining UGA’s Gordon Beckham and Josh Fields and South Carolina’s Justin Smoak and Reese Havens. Florida infielder Josh Adams and LSU slugger Matt Clark round out the conference honorees.
Carroll ranks as the SEC leader in batting average (.447) and RBI (56), cranking out 14 doubles, a triple and 12 home runs, swiping 7-of-7 bases. Cowgill ranks second in the league and NCAA in home runs (16), while ranking fourth in the SEC in average (.391), second in slugging (.808), fourth in on-base percentage (.515), second in runs scored (59), fourth in RBI (46), third in total bases (122), fourth in walks (33) and fifth in stolen bases (16). With 16 bombs in 41 games in 2008, Cowgill tied his 2006 mark of 16 homers, needing 61 games during the SEC Championship season to accomplish the feat.
In SEC games alone, Carroll and Cowgill still lead the way, with Carroll leading the club with a .406 average, ripping six doubles and five homers, driving in 22 RBI. Cowgill ranks second in SEC batting average, with a .391 mark, ripping four two baggers and seven homers, driving in 17 RBI, drawing 20 walks and swiping 5-of-8 bases.
Both Carroll and Cowgill have earned SEC and National Player of the Week honors during the year.
Kentucky returns to action on Friday, traveling to No. 10 Vanderbilt for a three-game set. First pitch on Friday at Charles Hawkins Field is set for 7 p.m. ET.
The membership of the NCBWA will choose the Dick Howser Trophy based on three rounds of voting. The 2008 winner will be announced at the College World Series in Omaha on Saturday, June 14, at 11:00 a.m. ET.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award.
Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.
A Florida native, Howser was a two-time All-America shortstop at Florida State University (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser, who will be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.
NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport's only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.
The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, P, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, 1B, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, UT, Houston, 2006; and David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007.
2008 DICK HOWSER TROPHY WATCH LIST
Ike Davis, UT, Arizona State
Mike Leake, P, Arizona State
Brett Wallace, 3B, Arizona State
Jason Buursma, UT, Bucknell
David Cooper, 1B, California
Jeremie Tice, 3B, College of Charleston
Corey Kemp, C, East Carolina
Christian Friedrich, P, Eastern Kentucky
Josh Adams, 2B, Florida
Mike McKenna, Florida Atlantic
Buster Posey, C, Florida State
Justin Bour, 1B, George Mason
Gordon Beckham, SS, Georgia
Joshua Fields, RP, Georgia
Chris Shehan, OF, Georgia Southern
Sawyer Carroll, OF, Kentucky
Collin Cowgill, OF, Kentucky
Chris Dominguez, 3B, Louisville
Matt Clark, 1b, LSU
Kyle Bellamy, RP, Miami (Fla.)
Chris Hernandez, P, Miami (Fla.)
Jemile Weeks 2B, Miami (Fla.)
Zach Putnam, UT, Michigan
Jacob Priday, OF, Missouri
Aaron Crow, P, Missouri
Johnny Dorn, P, Nebraska
Johnny Giavotella, 2B, New Orleans
Dustin Ackley, 1B, North Carolina
Kyle Seager, 2B, North Carolina
George Brown, P, St. John’s
Brian Matusz, P, San Diego
Stephen Strasburg,P, San Diego State
Ryne Jernigan, 2B, South Alabama
Reese Havens, SS, South Carolina
Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina
Tyler Conn, RP, Southern Miss
Dane Carter, 3B, Texas A&M
Shooter Hunt, P, Tulane
Adam Carrithers, 2B, UCLA
Mark Carver, C, UNC Wilmington
Xavier Scruggs, 1B, UNLV
Michael Rockett, UTSA
Michael Schwimer, RP, Virginia
Vince Belnome, 3B, West Virginia
Jedd Gyorko, 2B, West Virginia
Chad Cregar, DH, Western Kentucky
Anthony Capra, P, Wichita State
Tim Park, C, William & Mary
Mike Sheridan, William & Mary
Ryan Lavarnway, OF, Yale