The Spitter’s 2016 Freshman All-Americans
It’s that time when collegiate baseball All-American and All-Conference teams are popping up like gangbusters. So, I figured that getting The Spitter involved in this madness would be a great way to start an annual tradition on our site.
Several NCAA newcomers had historic seasons this year, all of which deserve recognition for their hard work and talent. Though it’s too early to label these kids as future MLB stars, they are nevertheless evidence of baseball’s evolution into a game where high school recruits are entering college ready and able to produce immediately.
The following are my selections for The Spitter’s 2016 Freshman All-American team.
Greyson Jenista, 1b – Wichita State
The Missouri Valley Conference Co-Freshman of the Year and second team All-MVC selection finished eighth in the league with a .326 batting average.
While batting from the high pressure third spot, he led the Shockers with a .431 on-base percentage and 31 walks.
Devon Ortiz, 2b – USC Upstate
After leading the Atlantic Sun Conference with five triples and finishing second with six stolen bases, Ortiz received ASUN Freshman of the Year honors.
His .352 batting average and .409 on-base percentage was also tops on the Spartans.
Kyle Isbel, 3b – UNLV
The Mountain West Conference Co-Freshman of the Year was also a second team All-MW selection.
He led the Runnin’ Rebels in triples (8) and total bases (103) while posting a .319/.376/.444 slash line with 7 steals.
Fred Proctor, SS – Rice
Conference USA’s Freshman of the Year led the Horned Frogs in hits (75), doubles (15), RBI (41), total bases (105), slugging percentage (.471), on-base percentage (.428), and walks (34).
The second team All C-USA selection also posted a .336 batting average with 6 stolen bases during his stellar inaugural season.
Seth Beer, OF – Clemson
Beer, a budding supernova who compiled a 26-game hitting streak this season, is easily The Spitter’s 2016 National Freshman of the Year.
In addition to becoming the first player ever chosen as both the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, he slugged a league-leading 18 home runs and ranked second with 70 RBI.
Jake Mangum, OF – Mississippi State
The Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year and first team All-SEC selection led the conference with a .408 batting average and finished fifth with a .458 on-base percentage.
Kevin Strohschein, OF – Tennessee Tech
Strohschein had a monster season that resulted in him being the first freshman ever chosen as Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year. He led the league in RBI (73) and total bases (162).
Moreover, his .393 batting average, .707 slugging percentage, and 15 home runs all ranked second in the OVC.
Cal Raleigh, C – Florida State
During his first NCAA campaign, Raleigh earned ACC All-Freshman Team honors after posting a .301/.412/.511 slash line and finishing second on the Seminoles team with ten home runs.
Joe Davis, DH – Houston
Davis set the Cougars all-time freshman record for home runs (14) and RBI (58) en route to being named the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and garnering first team AAC honors.
He paced the Cougars in slugging percentage (.577), hits (79), doubles (17), and finished second with a .331 batting average.
Bret Clarke, RHP – Stony Brook
Clarke became the sixth Stony Brook player in the last seven years to be named America East Rookie of the Year.
He was also a unanimous America East All-Rookie team selection after finishing the season with a 6-2 record and a 2.19 ERA that ranked second in his conference.
Michael Dailey, RHP – VCU
The Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year posted a 6-0 record this season while leading the conference with a 1.57 ERA and holding opponents to a .221 batting average that ranked fifth best in the A-10.
Caleb Sampen, RHP – Wright State
The Horizon League Freshman of the Year compiled a 9-4 record with a stellar 2.76 ERA over the season.
His two complete games ranked third in the conference.
Noah Song, RHP – Navy
The Patriot League Rookie of the Year and second team All-Patriot League selection led the conference in wins (9) and ERA (2.75) while ranking among the NCAA leaders in WHIP (0.96) and hits allowed per nine innings (5.85) .
Chad Luensmann, RHR – Nebraska
In addition to garnering second team All-Big Ten honors, Luensmann posted a microscopic 1.18 ERA and became the first Nebraska player ever to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
His 13 saves ranked second in the conference.