LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Senior Kentucky outfielder Sawyer Carroll has been named one of eight semifinalists for the Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award, the College Baseball Foundation announced.
Carroll, a first-team All-America outfielder, is one of two Southeastern Conference players named among the top eight players in the nation, joining Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham. Carroll, a 6-foot-4, 215 pound native of Henryetta, Okla., had a career year for UK in 2008, leading the SEC with a .419 average, adding a school-record 83 RBI, 22 doubles, three triples and 44 walks. Carroll stole 12-of-12 bases, adding three assists from right-field. Carroll, who set the Kentucky career record for average (.386), finished with 98 total hits, the second highest hit total in UK history.
Carroll, who was picked in the third-round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres last week, was named a first-team All-American by Louisville Slugger and Rivals.com. Fellow UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was tabbed a second-team selection by both Louisville Slugger and Rivals.com. Carroll became UK’s third consecutive first-team All-American, a program first.
Carroll helped lead No. 24 Kentucky to a school-record 40 wins – just the fourth time in program history UK has totaled 40 wins – and an NCAA Regional Championship appearance. Carroll’s senior class exited UK as the all-time winningest group in program history.
The Brooks Wallace Award is presented annually to the top player in college baseball and presented on Wednesday, July 2 in Lubbock, Texas. The award is named in the memory of the former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace. Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. A four-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District his senior year. He led the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament in 1980. After playing two years in the Texas Rangers organization, he returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach. In the summer of 1984, he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27.
Past winners included Kurt Suzuki of Cal State Fullerton (2004), Alex Gordon of Nebraska (2005), and Brad Lincoln of Houston (2006). Last year’s winner was the number one choice in Major League Baseball’s 2007 First-Year Player Draft, David Price of Vanderbilt.
Revised 2008 Wallace Watch List
Yonder Alonso - Miami
Dustin Ackley - North Carolina
Gordon Beckham - Georgia
Sawyer Carroll - Kentucky
Aaron Crow - Missouri
Brian Matusz - San Diego
Buster Posey - Florida State
Brett Wallace - Arizona St.