Not to be confused with the honors doled out by our crack baseball writer Don Starks, the Mountain West, in conjunction with the beginning of its postseason conference tournament, announced its selections for the all-MWC this morning.
New Mexico's sophomore third baseman, Carl Stajduhar, was named the Tony Gwynn Player of the Year after emerging as one of the conference's premier sluggers. He hit .351 and crushed 17 homers in 56 total games this year, but reached another level in MWC play, hitting .421 with a staggering .746 slugging percentage.
On the mound, Air Force ace Griffin Jax and Fresno State's Jimmy Lambert shared Pitcher of the Year honors. Jax, one of the biggest reasons for the Academy's surprising success in 2016, led the conference in innings pitched (98.1) and ERA (1.74), while racking up 85 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .221 overall average. he is the first AFA player to earn any like honors in Mountain West history. Lambert, meanwhile, led the conference with 10 wins in 14 starts and finished third in both innings pitched (95) and ERA (2.37).
They weren't the only players to share a major award, however. Freshman of the Year was split between two third baseman: Air Force's Nic Ready and UNLV's Kyle Isbel. Ready held a slight advantage in batting average (.327 vs. .323), and extra base hits (23 vs. 18) on the season, but Isbel was also 7-of-9 on stolen base attempts and finished with a better on-base percentage, as well (.381 vs. .346).
Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole won his first Coach of the Year nod since the program's move to the Mountain West, leading the Bulldogs to their first MWC regular season title with a 21-9 conference record.
|Bradley Haslam||Jr.||DH||Air Force|
|Griffin Jax||Jr.||RHP||Air Force|
|Tyler Jones||Jr.||OF||Air Force|
|Aaron Arruda||Soph.||1B||Fresno State|
|Jimmy Lambert||Jr.||RHP||Fresno State|
|Brody Russell||Sr.||SS||Fresno State|
|Ricky Tyler Thomas||Soph.||LHP||Fresno State|
|Chris DeVito||Jr.||C/DH||New Mexico|
|Jared Holley||Sr.||2B||New Mexico|
|Carl Stajduhar||Soph.||3B||New Mexico|
|Tyler Stevens||Soph.||RHP||New Mexico|
|Nic Ready||Fr.||3B||Air Force|
|Tim Borst||Sr.||RHP||Fresno State|
|Rickey Ramirez||Soph.||RHP||Fresno State|
|Scott Silva||Jr.||2B||Fresno State|
|Jake Stone||Jr.||OF||Fresno State|
|Luis Gonzalez||Soph.||OF/LHP||New Mexico|
|Dominic Purpura||Jr.||LHP||San Diego State|
|Justin Wylie||Soph.||2B||San Diego State|
|Dillan Smith||Sr.||OF||San Jose State|