June 10, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Russ Anderson
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Top players from nine regions lauded Bookmark and Share

DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America announced its 2016 District Players of the Year, today, honoring 11 of the nation's budding stars and marking the 16th-straight year it has bestowed the honor.

The 2016 NCBWA District Players of the Year are District I: SS Charles LeBlanc (Pittsburgh); District II: C R.J. Devish (Rutgers); District III: SP/1B Brendan McKay (Louisville) and SP Logan Shore (Florida); District IV: OF Seth Beer (Clemson) and 3B Will Craig (Wake Forest); District V: SP Eric Lauer (Kent State); District VI: 3B Jake Burger (Missouri State); District VII: 3B Boomer White (Texas A&M); District VIII: C Chris Devito (New Mexico) and District IX: RP Troy Rallings (Washington).

On Thursday, McKay, Beer, Craig, Lauer and White were named finalists for the 2016 Dick Howser Trophy, given annually to the nation's best collegiate player.

Some of the previous NCBWA District Players of the Year have been Howser Trophy recipients, such as Mark Teixeira of Georgia Tech, Mark Prior of USC, Khalil Greene of Clemson, Rickie Weeks of Southern, Jered Weaver of Long Beach State, Alex Gordon of Nebraska, Brad Lincoln of Houston, David Price of Vanderbilt, Buster Posey of Florida State, Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State, Taylor Jungmann of Texas, Mike Zunino of Florida, Kris Bryant of San Diego, A.J. Reed of Kentucky, and Arkansas' Andrew Benintendi.

LeBlanc earned the first ACC batting title in Pittsburgh history, hitting .405 in 49 games. That mark currently ranks 10th nationally and is the highest by an ACC player since 2009. The Laval, Quebec native also was the first Panther to garner All-ACC first team honors after driving in 46 runs, scoring 45 and notching a .494 on-base percentage in 2016.

Devish, who was a semifinalist for the Olson Award as the national breakout player of the year, led the Big Ten with a .524 on-base percentage the highest by a Big Ten player since 2009 and a mark that ranks sixth nationally. The senior from Beachwood, New Jersey, was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree after also leading the league with 56 runs and ranking second with 24 stolen bases, the most steals by a catcher in the nation. He hit .375, drove in 27 runs and walked 41 times on the season.

A native of Darlington, Pennsylvania, McKay is a finalist for the Howser Trophy, a first-team All-American by Baseball America and a Louisville Slugger third-team All-American. He is 12-3 on the mound with a 2.12 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and 119 strikeouts in 101.2 innings pitched, while hitting .336 with five home runs, a .420 OBP and 40 RBI as the Cardinals' primary first baseman. McKay was a first-team All-ACC selection as both a starting pitcher and utility player, and was the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Louisville Regional after hitting .455 with a homer and three RBI, and striking out 10 in a win on the mound. He also was named the NCBWA Pitcher of the Month in February. McKay also is a semifinalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, which he won in 2015, and was a semifinalist for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame's National Pitcher of the Year Award.

Shore, the 2016 SEC Pitcher of the Year, was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, after leading Florida into this weekend's NCAA Super Regionals against Florida State. The Coon Rapids, Minnesota, native is 114-0 with a 2.44 ERA and has 29 career victories, two shy of the Gator record. He has a school-record streak of 16 consecutive wins and three complete games in 2016, striking out 80 in 92.1 innings pitched with a 0.97 WHIP.

Beer, a finalist for the Howser Trophy, was named a Baseball America first-team All-American and Collegiate Baseball's co-Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-American. The 2016 ACC Player of the Year hit .369 with a .700 slugging percentage, a .535 OBP, 70 RBI and 57 runs. Beer ranked third nationally in OBP and walks, ninth in slugging percentage, and 12th in home runs. The Suwanee, Georgia, native slugged 18 homers and 13 doubles, walked 62 times, finished the season with a 60-game on-base streak and posted a 26-game hitting streak during the campaign.

A native of Johnson City, Tennessee, Craig is a finalist for the Howser Trophy and was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. The first-team All-ACC selection led Wake Forest to its first NCAA Regional berth since 2007 and ranks third nationally in slugging percentage with a .731 mark. He also ranks eighth with a .520 OBP and eighth with 1.2 runs batted in per game. For the season, Craig led the Demon Deacons with a .379 average, 16 home runs, 66 RBI and 563 runs. He also posted a team-high nine saves, going 2-0 with a 3.54 ERA in 28 innings pitched.

Lauer, who is a finalist for the Howser Trophy and was named Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Year, posted a miniscule 0.69 ERA the best by a Division I starting pitcher since 1979 and went 10-2 with 125 strikeouts in 104 innings pitched, the second-most strikeouts in a season in Kent State history. A first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, the Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year and a semifinalist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame's National Pitcher of the Year, Lauer also was named a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. The Elyria, Ohio native led all starting pitchers in Division I baseball with a 0.74 WHIP, ranking second overall, and ranked sixth nationally in strikeouts.

The Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Burger was a semifinalist for the Howser Trophy, a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and a third-team All-American by Baseball America. He blasted 21 homers, which ranks second in the nation, while hitting .349. The Chesterfield, Missouri, native also ranks fourth nationally in total bases (162), fifth in RBI (72) and 12th in slugging percentage (.689), while pounding out 82 hits and scoring 59 runs. A first-team All-Valley selection, Burger also committed only two errors in 138 chances at the hot corner in 2016, including 34 consecutive error-free games to end the season.

White, who was the SEC Player of the Year and is a finalist for the Howser Trophy, led Texas A&M into this weekend's NCAA Super Regional round by hitting .398 with a .533 slugging percentage and a .476 OBP. The Houston, Texas, native, who was named a Baseball America first-team All-American and was a third-team selection by Collegiate Baseball, has 98 hits on the season including an SEC record 57 during conference play and needs 10 more to break Texas A&M's single-season record. White, who also was an All-SEC first-teamer and a member of the NCAA College Station Regional All-Tournament Team, has 46 RBI, 49 runs, 18 doubles and five homers on the season, while walking 33 times and swiping 10 bases.

A native of Northridge, California, DeVito was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection and hit .375 with a .685 slugging percentage 14th-best in the nation and a .444 OBP. He drove in 65 runs, which ranks 20th nationally, and his 159 total bases ranked eighth in Division I baseball. He blasted 16 home runs and knocked 20 doubles, while also scoring 49 runs to lead New Mexico to a Mountain West tournament title and its fifth NCAA Regional in the last seven years. In addition, DeVito was named a third-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, becoming the Lobos' first catcher to earn Academic All-America honors.

Rallings, a finalist for the Stopper of the Year Award and semifinalist for the Howser Trophy, leads the nation in WHIP (0.72) and ranks second in ERA (0.89). He was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, and also took home Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year honors. The Carlsbad, California, native became only the third Washington pitcher ever to be named an All-American and first since Tim Lincecum in 2006. Rallings led the Huskies a second-place finish in the Pac-12 and their second NCAA Regional in the last three years. He finished the season 4-1 with a 0.89 ERA and 16 saves in 61 innings over 28 appearances, allowing only six earned runs and striking out 60. Rallings broke UW's single-season ERA record and 15 of his 16 saves lasted longer than three outs. He is third in the nation in saves and fourth in hits allowed per nine innings (4.72), allowing the fewest hits, runs, and earned runs in the Pac-12, and posting a league-best .155 batting average against.

The group, divided into areas as follows, District I: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania; District II: Connecticut, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, District of Columbia; III: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida; IV: Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland; V: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin; VI: Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota; VII: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana; VIII: Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Montana; District IX: California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, ncbwa.com.