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College | Story | 6/18/2021

Collegiate All-Americans & Postseason Awards

Vincent Cervino        
2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Year:

Matheu Nelson, Florida State

2021 college baseball was going to be unlike anything we’d seen in the sport before and it gave us a number of twists and turns, including who the most dangerous power hitter in the sport would become. Nelson was more of an average bat in the collegiate game heading into the season as a vocal leader behind the dish who would find his doubles along with the occasional home run. It’s surprising, then, to look at Nelson’s numbers and realize that the fourth year catcher hit .330 with 23 home runs.

Those with knowledge of the Seminoles’ baseball program would argue that this wasn’t a shock as Nelson is one of the hardest working athletes in the country. His power has blossomed in a massive way and made him the most dangerous hitter in the ACC thanks to a ruthless approach, ambush mentality, and the combination of hit tool and power to rival any other in the conference.

Nelson has re-worked his entire profile to become a potential first round pick in large part due to the resume that he has put forth. With a slugging percentage in the top-five nationally, Nelson finished with a .330/.436/.773 slash line, 23 home runs, and a reputation as one of the best power hitters, let alone catchers, in the entire country.

Click here for a link to the full player report on Nelson. 


2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings Pitcher of the Year:

Kevin Kopps, Arkansas

Razorback fans are likely disappointed with their Super Regional finish on the year, but they can’t be mad at the effort provided to them by senior right-hander Kevin Kopps. The Pitcher of the Year, and one of the season’s best storylines, tallied close to 90 innings out of the bullpen, which is a rarity to see in a major Power 5 conference.

Arkansas “Called the Kopps” with frequency this season, turning the game over to the sport’s best decider often with a slim lead to protect early or late in the series. The Razorbacks were the consensus No. 1 team in the country for a large swath of the season and it’s fair to say that in a number of those series, Kopps was literally the deciding factor.

Kopps operates with a fastball that sits right around 92-93 mph but his two best weapons are his cutter and slider, and both are absolutely dastardly. He fits the mold of recent college draftees like Brandon Finnegan or Garrett Crochet as some believe that he could pitch in a big league bullpen as soon as this season. He finished with 89 2/3 innings pitched, a miniscule ERA of 0.90 along with 11 saves, 12 wins, and 131 strikeouts over that period.

Click here for a link to the full player report on Kopps.
 

Perfect Game/Rawlings Freshman of the Year*:

Dylan Crews, Louisiana State

*only true freshman or first-year players were eligible

There was no doubting Dylan Crews’ ability dating back to his high school days as he was one of the top undrafted prospects in the 2020 class and easily one of the most famous names entering college for the first time. With a substantial amount of pressure following his decision to opt out of the 2020 draft, Crews did nothing but impress the coaching staff down in Baton Rouge during the fall and immediately earned the starting right field job along with the everyday three-hole position in the lineup.

From the moment the season started, Crews was playing like an absolute dominant force, finishing the year with a slash line of .362/.453/.663 and showing poise, maturity, and ruthlessness in the batter’s box. The freshman outfielder did more than just punish mistakes as he was one of the more consistent leaders in terms of exit velocity, while he showed polish and maturity in the box beyond his years.

Crews was a name heading into his first college season but there’s no doubting now that he’s on the forefront in terms of future stars of the sport. Crews knocked in 18 home runs during his freshman campaign, showing why he’s not only one of the best hitters in the sport, but also the early projected 1:1 candidate for the 2023 draft.

Click here for a link to the full player repot on Crews.
 

Perfect Game/Rawlings Coach of the Year:

Tony Vitello, Tennessee


It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that since Tony Vitello arrived on campus in Knoxville that his presence has been absolutely transformative. The Volunteers turned in just their third 40-win season since 2005, the other coincidentally coming in 2019 under Vitello, while they’ve earned their first 50-win season this century along with their first trip to Omaha since 2005. Tennessee played like one of the best teams in the country because they are and it’s thanks to both the players and Vitello’s staff that they’ll have the chance to bring home a CWS title.

Things didn’t start off great for the Vols as just as the season had started, Tennessee lost projected Friday night ace Jackson Leath for the season. From there, big names like Max Ferguson and Connor Pavolony started off the season in cold streaks, but the depth of the roster has only begun to show its strengths.

Vitello has a reputation in the sport for being among the game’s best recruiters and you can see why as their players come from all different parts of the world. Liam Spence, an Australian native who came to Knoxville by way of Central Arizona College, is one such example of that, as is Texas native and Friday night ace Chad Dallas, along with Regional hero Drew Gilbert, a Minnesota native who was one of the last recruits in Tennessee’s 2019 class.

The Volunteers have turned into one of the SEC’s powerhouse programs, but this didn’t happen overnight. Vitello, along with those on his staff, have shown a powerful blend of roster construction, recruiting, and ,perhaps most importantly, transformational leadership as Tennessee looks like they’ll be competing for national titles for years to come.


2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings First Team All-American

Statistics are through Super Regional Play

Pos. Player School AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
C Matheu Nelson Florida State .330 0.44 .773 50 64 17 0 23 66 4
1B Niko Kavadas Notre Dame .302 .473 .767 42 48 8 0 22 64 2
2B Jace Jung Texas Tech .337 .462 .697 55 70 10 1 21 67 4
3B Austin Knight Charlotte .342 .398 .615 59 80 29 1 11 63 13
SS Trey Sweeney Eastern Illinois .382 .522 .712 52 65 10 2 14 58 3
OF Aaron Zavala Oregon .392 .525 .628 64 78 14 3 9 38 11
OF Colton Cowser Sam Houston State .374 .490 .680 61 76 10 2 16 52 17
OF Tanner Allen Mississippi State .392 .463 .634 64 91 16 5 10 62 9
DH Tyler Hardman Oklahoma .397 .481 .661 49 89 19 2 12 49 3
UT Spencer Schwellenbach Nebraska .284 .403 .459 43 52 12 1 6 40 9

Pos. Player School ERA W-L CG SV IP H SO BB
SP Gavin Williams East Carolina 1.88 10-1 1 1 81.1 57 130 21
SP Jack Leiter Vanderbilt 2.16 10-3 1 0 96 41 156 41
SP Kumar Rocker Vanderbilt 2.46 13-3 1 0 106 59 155 36
SP Matt Mikulski Fordham 1.45 9-0 5 0 68.1 29 124 27
SP Ty Madden Texas 2.41 7-4 1 0 100.2 67 119 39
RP Carson Palmquist Miami 2.22 1-1 0 14 44.2 22 75 8
RP Kevin Kopps Arkansas 0.90 12-1 0 11 89.2 50 131 18
UT Spencer Schwellenbach Nebraska 0.57 3-1 0 10 31.2 22 34 8


2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings Second Team All-American

Pos. Name School AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
C Henry Davis Louisville .370 .482 .663 45 68 9 0 15 48 10
1B Dominic Keegan Vanderbilt .361 .441 .673 51 74 16 3 14 55 0
2B Connor Norby East Carolina .421 .489 .669 64 102 15 0 15 51 18
3B Tyler Locklear VCU .345 .515 .686 69 67 12 3 16 66 8
SS Ryan Bliss Auburn .365 .428 .654 50 77 14 1 15 45 6
OF Brock Jones Stanford .302 .452 .620 53 58 11 1 16 54 14
OF Dylan Crews Louisiana State .362 .453 .663 64 89 16 2 18 42 12
OF Enrique Bradfield Vanderbilt .356 .474 .435 57 77 8 3 1 36 46
DH Jacob Berry Arizona .359 .448 .692 53 85 18 5 17 70 2
UT Justin Campbell Oklahoma State .269 .398 .388 10 18 5 0 1 10 0

Pos. Name School ERA W-L CG SV IP H SO BB
SP Andrew Abbott Virginia 3.04 8-6 0 0 100.2 84 152 30
SP Doug Nikhazy Ole Miss 2.45 12-2 1 0 92 62 142 31
SP Gunnar Hoglund Ole Miss 2.87 4-2 0 0 62.2 40 96 17
SP Landon Marceaux Louisiana State 2.54 7-7 1 0 102.2 92 116 26
SP Sam Bachman Miami (OH) 1.81 4-4 1 0 59.2 29 93 17
RP Landon Sims Mississippi State 1.55 4-0 0 10 46.1 25 85 14
RP Nick Jones Georgia Southern 1.48 1-0 0 17 42.2 34 67 5
UT Justin Campbell Oklahoma State 2.57 7-2 1 0 84 66 102 27


2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings Third Team All-American

Pos. Name School AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
C Hunter Goodman Memphis .307 .401 .678 40 62 10 1 21 51 9
1B Kyle Manzardo Washington State .365 .437 .640 43 72 19 1 11 60 1
2B Tyler Black Wright State .383 .496 .683 64 70 14 1 13 59 11
3B Hunter Wells Louisiana Tech .385 .456 .645 70 101 20 3 14 61 1
SS Brooks Lee Cal Poly .342 .384 .626 48 76 27 3 10 57 3
OF Jared McKenzie Baylor .383 .453 .626 62 82 14 4 10 44 3
OF Reed Trimble Southern Miss .345 .414 .638 59 81 14 2 17 72 12
OF Sal Frelick Boston College .359 .443 .559 50 70 17 2 6 27 13
DH Wes Clarke South Carolina .271 .428 .663 56 54 9 0 23 55 0
UT Paul Skenes Air Force .410 .486 .697 49 77 21 0 11 43 0

Pos. Name School ERA W-L CG SV IP H SO
SP Brendan Beck Stanford 2.96 9-1 2 0 100.1 72 128
SP Michael McGreevy UC Santa Barbara 2.92 9-2 1 0 101.2 109 115
SP Nicholas Sinacola Maine 2.04 9-3 5 0 79.1 59 139
SP Parker Messick Florida State 3.10 8-2 0 0 90 81 126
SP Rodney Boone UC Santa Barbara 2.31 11-4 1 0 97.1 55 128
RP Jacob King UC Irvine 1.98 3-1 0 8 41 32 45
RP Evan Justice North Carolina State 4.09 5-2 0 11 55 38 68
UT Paul Skenes Air Force 2.70 1-1 0 11 26.2 20 30

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