Dec. 10, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame junior third outfielder A.J. Pollock was named to the 2009 Wallace Award Watch List, which is presented to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The 2009 award banquet will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 2, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.
In addition to the Wallace Award Watch List, Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) was listed as the 39th overall prospect and 16th collegiate prospect for the 2009 MLB Draft by Baseball America. He was also ranked as the seventh-best prospect from the Cape Cod League by Baseball America following his Most Valuable Player season this past summer.
Pollock finished the regular season on the Cape leading the league in hits (61), doubles (15) and slugging percentage (.556). He ranked second in batting average at .377 — a clip that remained above .300 all summer long — as well as second in extra-base hits with 20. Pollock also ranked third in on-base percentage (.455) and runs scored (35). He smacked four home runs, drove in 25 RBI and stole 11 bases. Pollock started in center field as a West Division All-Star, going 2-for-3 at the plate, including a solo home run. He proved to be the perfect leadoff hitter for Falmouth, relying on his ability to make contact and put the ball in play, striking out only 24 times in 162 at-bats.
Pollock was the second Notre Dame player to ever capture Cape Cod League MVP. Dick Licini captured the award in 1968 as a first baseman for the Bourne Braves. Pollock is also the second player ever from the BIG EAST Conference to be awarded MVP. John Morris of Seton Hall earned the honor in 1981.
Pollock finished last season for Notre Dame with a .352 batting average, 15 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 42 RBI and 28 stolen bases. A two-time BIG EAST Player of the Week selection, Pollock led the Irish in batting, hits (76), doubles (tied), total bases (109), sacrifice flies (7), stolen bases, at bats (216), games played (tied, 55) and games started (tied, 55).
Pollock was the first Notre Dame player to lead the team in hitting, stolen bases and strikeout ratio in the same season since Steve Stanley in 2002. He struck out just 10 times in 216 at-bats last year and his ratio of one strikeout to every 21.6 at-bats is the eighth-best ratio in school history. His .362 career batting average ranks ninth all-time in Notre Dame history (minimum 2 years, 2.5 AB/game).
There are a dozen players returning to the “Wallace Watch List” who were a part of the 2008 Brooks Wallace Watch List of 64. The list includes Josh Phegley (Indiana), Chris Dominguez (Louisville) and Stephen Strasburg (San Diego). The University of North Carolina has returners: Alex White, Kyle Seager and 2008 Brooks Wallace Award semi-finalist Dustin Ackley.
“We look forward to another great year of college baseball. The College Baseball Foundation continues to expand in many areas and we are excited to acknowledge and award achievements and outstanding character on and off the diamond,” said Raymond Richardson, chairman of Brooks Wallace National Player of the Year Award.
The College Baseball Foundation is proud to announce its partnership with Mizuno to bring you the pre-season release of the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Watch List.
The Wallace Award is dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace. Wallace was a slick-fielding shortstop at Texas Tech from 1977 to 1980. A four-year starter, he was named All-Southwest Conference and All-District his senior year. He led the Red Raiders to their first-ever appearance in the Southwest Conference Tournament in 1980.
After playing two years in the Texas Rangers organization, he returned to Texas Tech and served as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach. In the summer of 1984, he was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27. The Plano, Texas, native was married to the former Sandy Arnold and they had one daughter, Lindsay Ryan.
The selection committee for the Wallace Award is comprised of a national panel of preeminent coaches, sports information directors, former winners and beat media who most closely follow the sport. Screening Committee members will evaluate the candidates and will continue their review throughout the entire baseball season. The list will expand and contract during the regular season and additional Wallace Watch candidates may be added as the season progresses. Voting for the three finalists and the Wallace Award winner will be conducted by confidential balloting, with totals tabulated by the J.W. Anderson & Associates accounting firm in Lubbock, TX.
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