STARKVILLE, Miss. – Kentucky junior catcher Luke Maile has been named a semifinalist for the 2012 Dick Howser Trophy, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, it was announced on Friday afternoon.
A native of Crestview Hills, Ky., Maile is one of the 36 top players in college baseball named semifinalists for one of the most prestigious trophies in the nation. Maile is one of five Southeastern Conference honorees and one of four catchers in the nation tabbed to the Dick Howser Trophy list.
Maile has been a middle of the order slugger for the Wildcats throughout the season, batting .320 (64-for-200), with 12 doubles, 12 homers and 49 RBI. He owns a team-best 30 walks, stealing nine bases. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder has helped UK to a historic season, as the Wildcats have won the second-most games (41) in school annals and the second-most SEC contests (18) in UK history.
The 2008 Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball and a draft pick of the Boston Red Sox out of High School, Maile ranks fourth in the SEC in homers, third in RBI, seventh in slugging percentage, 11th in walks and seventh in total bases. He has already set a new UK school record with 10 game-winning RBI in 2012, including a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give UK a SEC-opening win over No. 2 South Carolina, with UK sweeping the Gamecocks.
Maile is also on the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Player of the Year Award Watch List, along with UK sophomore reliever Trevor Gott. UK freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino has been tabbed to the 22-man USA Collegiate National Team, starter Corey Littrell has been named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame National Pitcher of the Year Watch List, freshman A.J. Reed is on the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Watch List and Gott is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Watch List.
This is the 26th year of the Dick Howser Trophy presented by Easton Foundations. The award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the second year. The award will be presented on Friday, June 15 at 11 a.m. CT, the opening day of the 2012 CWS.
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 of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.
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, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, 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, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008; Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009; Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice, 2010 and Taylor Jungmann, P, Texas, 2011.
2012 DICK HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS
Pos. Name, School
Mark Appel, P, Stanford
Robert Benincasa, RP, Florida State
Sean Bignall, OF, Arkansas-Little Rock
Trent Blank, P, Baylor
Austin Elkins, 2B, Dallas Baptist
Goose Kallunki, 1B, Utah Valley
Marty Gantt, OF, College of Charleston
Marco Gonzales, UT, Gonzaga
Andrew Heaney, P, Oklahoma State
Brock Hebert, 2B, Southeastern Louisiana
D.J. Hicks, 1B, UCF
Daniel Kassouf, DH, Appalachian State
Stefan Lopez, RP, Southeastern Louisiana
Michael Lorenzen, UT, Cal State Fullerton
Josh Ludy, C, Baylor
Luke Maile, C, Kentucky
Jamodrick McGruder, 2B, Texas Tech
Trenton Moses, 3B, Southeast Missouri
Chris O’Grady, RP, George Mason
D.J. Petersen, 3B, New Mexico
Nick Petree, P, Missouri State
Kevin Plawecki, C, Purdue
Danny Poma, OF, Hofstra
James Ramsey, OF, Florida State
Matthew Reckling, P, Rice
Carlos Rodon, P, NC State
Chris Rowley, P, Army
Raph Rhymes, OF, LSU
Zach Stephens, 1B, Tennessee Tech
Chris Stratton, P, Mississippi State
Ross Stripling, P, Texas A&M
Michael Wacha, P, Texas A&M
Michael Wagner, RP, San Diego
Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Ole Miss
Mike Zunino, C, Florida