LUBBOCK, Texas – The NCAA’s allowance for players from the shortened 2020 season to complete in 2021 without losing a year of eligibility meant one thing – a wealth of talent in college baseball. That extra season for many players resulted in a vast pool of shortstops eligible for the Brooks Wallace Award.
Evidence of that talented group of players is apparent in this year’s finalists – the six best shortstops in the nation who represent both national powerhouses and outstanding mid-majors, all of whom put together outstanding seasons.
The six finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award are senior Liam Spence from Tennessee, junior R.J. Yeager from Mercer, sophomores Trey Sweeney from Eastern Illinois and Collin Burns from Tulane, and redshirt freshmen Cal Conley from Texas Tech and Brooks Lee from Cal Poly.
“Baseball is back in full swing, and it’s great to get out to NCAA ballparks,” said Tom Quigley, co-chair of the Brooks Wallace Award. “Shortstops seem to be really hitting the ball well at this point as we have our top six finalists still hitting above .300 with power, too. We recognize defensive fielding percentages with high emphasis as well for finalists. We look forward to the excitement building as we whittle down our Brooks Wallace Award list for 2021. These players represent the best of this year’s shortstops.”
The award, sponsored by Mizuno, honors the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented this summer by the College Baseball Foundation. It is named for former Texas Tech shortstop Brooks Wallace, who played for the Red Raiders from 1977 to 1980. Wallace died of leukemia at the age of 27.
Here is a closer look at the six finalists:
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