RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University junior catcher Sean Hagen is a semifinalist for the inaugural Gregg Olson Award, presented by Toolshed Sports. The award honors college baseball’s breakout player of the year.
Hagen is one of 46 NCAA Division I players on the list of semifinalists, and the only representative from the Ohio Valley Conference.
Hagen’s 2013 season definitely qualifies for “breakout” status. The Reading, Pa., native improved his batting average 101 points, going from .252 as a sophomore to .353 his junior season. He also improved his slugging percentage 130 points (.480) and his on-base percentage (.401) by 62 points.
The award is named after former Auburn star pitcher Gregg Olson, who became one of the top collegiate players in the nation after an initial season filled with only mixed success. Olson went on to become a two-time All-American, first round draft pick, American League Rookie of the Year and MLB All-Star. Like Olson, these players have elevated their game to an elite level and in many instances their team has mirrored their success as a direct result.
Hagen doubled his previous career best for hits, drove in 22 more runs and scored nine more times. In his first two seasons combined, Hagen had a total of one home run and 10 doubles. He had four homers and 14 doubles in 2013. Hagen ranks fifth in the OVC in hitting and sports the highest average of any league catcher.
Initial nominations for the Gregg Olson Award were made by sports information/media contacts and the semifinalists were determined by an independent panel. A list of finalists is scheduled to be announced on Monday, June 3 in conjunction with the conclusion of NCAA Regional play. The winner of the 2013 Gregg Olson Award will be named in Omaha, Nebraska during the College World Series which is to be held this season at TD Ameritrade Park from June 15-26, 2013.
Earlier this season Hagen was selected to the initial watch list for the 2013 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com.