Arizona Baseball’s conference season ended with a whimper in L.A. The Wildcats were no-hit on Friday, shut out on Saturday and swept on Sunday.
The UA’s Pac-12 season may be done but two Arizona players still have a chance to win the conference’s biggest individual award.
The wins haven’t been there for the Cats but second baseman Scott Kingery and third baseman Bobby Dalbec have had an exceptional season. How good? Teammate Kevin Newman is in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in batting average, runs, hits, doubles and stolen bases and he’s not a serious Player of the Year candidate.
Here are Kingery and Dalbec’s numbers side by side. If you had to pick a single Arizona MVP who would it be?
|Category||Kingery||Pac Top 10||Dalbec||Pac Top 10|
One thought: Kingery’s on-base percentage is amazing considering he has only drawn nine walks all season.
Another thought: You would think Dalbec’s status as a two-way player would help him but he’s second in the conference with seven losses so we’re viewing him only as a hitter (especially since the Pitcher of the Year is a separate award).
Here’s a look at the other top candidates, Bobby Stahel of USC, Jeff Hendrix and K.J. Harrison of Oregon State and UCLA’s Ty Moore:
|Category||Stahel||Pac Top 10||Hendrix||Pac Top 10||Harrison||Pac Top 10||Moore||Pac Top 10|
Moore seems like a fringe candidate at best but you have to include a Bruin based on this trend:
2011 was an odd season in that there wasn’t a hitter who had a monster year. Renda won for his leadership / intangibles as much as for what he did at the plate.
So the Wildcat duo’s biggest problem is Arizona’s 12-18 record. The UA is currently seventh in the Pac-12 and could finish as low as ninth. I don’t see the Pac-12 coaches getting past that when they fill out their POY ballots.
I would put Hendrix as the favorite. His 1.027 OPS slightly beats Dalbec to put him above everyone else on this list and his team sits alone in second place in the Pac-12.
Arizona has four games left, hosting Abilene Christian and Hawaii in a three-team “tournament” starting on Thursday. Head to Hi Corbett Field and you might just see the Pac-12 Player of the Year.