OMAHA, Nebraska – Georgia Tech junior catcher Joey Bart was named as one of five finalists for the 2018 Dick Howser Trophy presented by The Game Headware, given to the top college player of the year, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) announced on Thursday.
Bart joins Kody Clemons of Texas, Casey Mize of Auburn, Brady Singer of Florida and Bren Spillane of Illinois as finalists for the 32nd annual Dick Howser Trophy.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, June 16, at an 11 a.m. (ET) national news conference at TD Ameritrade Park – home of the 72nd annual NCAA World Series.
Bart, who was recently selected No. 2 overall by the San Francisco Giants in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft to become the highest draft pick in Tech’s baseball history, joins Jason Varitek (1994) and Mark Teixeira (2000) as the only Yellow Jackets to be named finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy. Both went on to win it.
Also a finalist for the 2018 Johnny Bench Award, Bart had a superb junior season in 2018 that saw him named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and earn a spot on the all-ACC first team.
A 2018 first-team all-American, Bart led the ACC in hitting with a .359 average on the season. He led Georgia Tech and ranked second in the league in slugging percentage (.632) and hits (79), while also posting a team-high in home runs (16), runs scored (55) and on-base percentage (.471), which all ranked in the top 10 in the ACC.
The Buford, Ga. native posted a season-high 16-game hitting streak, the longest of the year for a Yellow Jacket player, and totaled 24 multi-hit games on the season overall, which included a pair of multi-home run games in which he blasted two long balls at Mercer on April 10 and on the road at Virginia on May 14.
A solid defensive catcher, Bart posted a .992 fielding percentage on the season, threw out 12-of-33 would-be base stealers and recorded three pickoffs from behind the plate.
Each finalist embodies the major principles of character, leadership, desire, and competitive spirit exhibited by Dick Howser, the all-America shortstop and later head coach at Florida State before managing the Kansas City Royals to the world championship in 1985. He also is the namesake for Dick Howser Stadium at FSU.