OMAHA, Neb. - One hundred twenty-five exceptional student-athletes comprise the watch list for the 2014 Jaeger Sports Tino Martinez Award for the most outstanding player in DII college baseball. The annual honor is named after the former University of Tampa Spartan, Olympian and MLB All-Star, Tino Martinez. Saint Leo senior Fran Whitten, junior Bobby Twitty, and sophomore Cole Stancil were three of the 125 athletes named to the list.
Nominations for the award were made by baseball sports information contacts and media members. Omission from the initial list does not exclude additional players from future consideration.
The list will be updated with a mid-season release mid April. Semi-finalists are scheduled to be announced on May 12th with the finalists to be named on May 26th.
After the finalists are named fans will be once again be invited to vote online at tinoaward.com to help determine the winner. The winner will be announced after the conclusion of the DII Baseball Championship held in Cary, NC from May 24th to May 31st.
Last year, Harmen Sidhu, a senior pitcher for the Sonoma State Seawolves, won the award. Sidhu's 0.98 ERA was tops in the nation and he tied for twelfth in wins as he went 10-1 in a dozen starts. Sidhu only allowed 47 hits in 82.2 innings, which amounted to a paltry .165 batting average against him. He also fanned 93 batters for a ratio of 10.13 per nine innings which placed in twenty-third nationally.
The Tino Martinez Award is named after the former University of Tampa Spartan, United States Olympian, first round draft pick and MLB All-Star, Tino Martinez. Martinez was a three-time All-American and still holds a number of UT records including career home runs (54), career slugging percentage (.736), career on base percentage (.494), single season batting average (.452) and single season slugging percentage (.957). While he wore a Spartan uniform Tampa advanced to their first NCAA Division II National Championships (1986 and '87) and won their first of twelve SSC Championships ('87). Martinez was elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. Current LSU head coach Paul Mainieri has been quoted as stating Martinez was, "the best player I've ever coached against".
For the complete watchlist, click here.
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