Morris Named Howser Trophy Semifinalist

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State junior right-hander A.J. Morris became the first player in school history to be named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) announced 16 semifinalists for the award on Thursday.


Morris, who is also a semifinalist for the College Baseball Foundation National Pitcher of the Year award, has been one of the best pitchers in the nation in 2009. The junior holds an 11-1 record and a 1.67 ERA, which is tops in the Big 12 in both categories. The right-hander ranks second nationally in victories, while his ERA is third in the country.


The award, which is given annually to the top player in collegiate baseball, is in memory of the former Florida State All-American shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, and is regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award.


Three 2009 finalists will be announced just prior to the first game of the College World Series with a press conference slated for Saturday, June 13, at 9:30 a.m. at the Omaha Press Club in the old First National Bank Building. The winner will be named at the College Baseball Awards Show in Lubbock, Texas, on Thursday, July 2.


The winner’s name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser displayed at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., along with several other locations. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.


The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's death.  Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J.D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007 and Buster Posey, C, Florida State.





Player                                     Position                                   School

Dustin Ackley                            First Baseman                           North Carolina

Matt Alexander                          Designated Hitter                       Air Force

Kyle Bellamy                             Pitcher                                      Miami

Troy Channing                           Third Baseman                          St. Mary’s (Calif.)

Cody Hawn                                First Baseman                           Tennessee

Chris Henderson                        Catcher                                     George Mason

Mike Leake                               Pitcher                                      Arizona State

Bryan Marquez                          Shortstop                                  New Mexico State

Kent Mattes                              Outfielder                                  Alabama

Derek McCallum                        Second Baseman                      Minnesota

Tommy Mendonca                     Third Baseman                          Fresno State

A.J. MORRIS                            PITCHER                                  KANSAS STATE

Rich Poythress                          First Baseman                           Georgia

Brooks Raley                             Utility                                        Texas A&M

Anthony Rendon                        Third Baseman                          Rice

Stephen Strasburg                     Pitcher                                      San Diego State