Dick Howser Finalist

JJ Bleday among final five for coveted trophy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt’s JJ Bleday has been named among five finalists for the 33rd-annual Dick Howser Trophy, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced in conjunction with the Dick Howser Trophy committee on Thursday.

Bleday joins West Virginia starting pitcher Alek Manoah, Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, Navy starting pitcher Noah Song and Cal first baseman Andrew Vaughn. The winner will be announced on Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m. from TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

The award embodies the principles of character, leadership, desire and competitive spirit exhibited by Dick Howser, the All-America shortstop, head coach at Florida State and manager of the 1985 World Series Champion – Kansas City Royals.

Bleday was selected fourth overall in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Miami Marlins on Monday night. The Panama City Beach, Florida, native leads the nation in home runs (26) and paces the SEC in slugging percentage (.739) and total bases (178).

The junior was named both SEC Player of the Year and SEC Tournament MVP after helping lead the Commodores to their first conference regular season championship since 2013, first league tournament title since 2007 and eighth super regional appearance in the last 10 seasons.