Regular season champion Baylor headlines the 2012 edition of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Awards. The Bears claimed three of the five individual postseason honors as Steve Smith earned Coach of the Year, Josh Ludy was named the Player of the Year and Nathan Orf took home Newcomer of the Year. Andrew Heaney (Oklahoma State) is the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, while Parker French gave Texas its second-straight Freshman of the Year honor (Erich Weiss, 2011).
The All-Big 12 Teams and individual awards are selected by the league's head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.
This marks the fourth Player of the Year honor for Baylor over the Conference's history and first since 2001 (Kelly Shoppach). Jason Jennings claimed the honor in 1999 and ‘98. Ludy is the fourth catcher to be named the league's top player, joining Shoppach, J.T. Wise (Oklahoma, 2009) and Jed Morris (Nebraska, 2002).
In addition, Smith earns his second Coach of the Year honor after claiming the distinction in 2000. Orf's award marks the first Newcomer of the Year honor for Baylor. He is also the first outfielder/designated hitter to earn the honor as the league's 15 previous recipients have been either infielders or pitchers. Baylor, who entered the season with five individual award winners all-time, has won multiple Big 12 individual awards in the same year on just one other occasion - 2000 (Smith & Zane Carlson, Freshman Pitcher of the Year).
The All-Big 12 Baseball First Team is led by Baylor with seven members. Texas A&M tallied four, while Texas and Texas Tech each landed a pair of selections. Oklahoma (Max White) and Oklahoma State (Andrew Heaney) round out the 17-member team. Six individuals became two-time first team members - Max Muncy (Baylor), Erich Weiss (Texas), Corey Knebel (Texas), Tyler Naquin (Texas A&M), Ross Stripling (Texas A&M) and Barrett Barnes (Texas Tech). Ludy, Heaney and Orf are all first team members.
Overall, the Bears led with nine All-Big 12 members between the first and second teams, while the Aggies totaled seven recipients.
Ludy, the fifth senior to win the Player of the Year award, has powered the Bears to a league-leading. 312 batting average. Individually, the Portland, Ind.-native ranks sixth in the league with a .347 clip and is also in the top 10 in RBI (first - 54), slugging percentage (third - .558), home runs (fourth - 9), total bases (fifth - 106) and doubles (10th - 13). In Big 12 contests, he finished with a .368 batting average, third-best in the league, and topped the Conference with eight home runs, 29 RBI and a .695 slugging percentage. He also ranks fourth in the league with 22 multi-hit games and third with 16 multi-RBI games.
Ludy earned Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks (April 16 and 23) with stellar performances against Kansas State and Texas A&M included in the span. On April 15 at K-State he set Big 12 single-season highs with five hits, seven RBI, three home runs and 14 total bases. Additionally, Ludy is one of 12 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Award Trophy and a member of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List.
Heaney leads the league in strikeouts (132), innings pitched (110.1), complete games (5) and shutouts (3). The junior becomes the first Cowboy to win the Pitcher of the Year honor, which was established in 2001. He is also the first OSU pitcher since 2000 to record 100 or more strikeouts in a season, and his 132 Ks are the fifth-highest single-season total by a Cowboy pitcher. That same year, Oklahoma State's Joe Weaver shared the Freshman Pitcher of the Year honor.
Heaney is 8-1 on the season, limiting batters to a .183 batting average. In 14 games, he has a 1.63 ERA, second-best in the Big 12 and tops for all league starting pitchers. Heaney is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Award Trophy and the College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year, plus is a member of the USA Baseball Golden Spike Midseason Watch List.
In his first season in the Big 12 Conference, Orf batted .344 in Big 12 play and .310 overall. The Wentzville, Mo.-product who transferred to Baylor from Illinois Chicago has split time between designated hitter (38 games) and left field (15). He tied for the league lead in runs scored in Big 12 only contests with 22 on the year and finished third in on-base percentage with a .456 clip.
A 2009 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, Orf collected the Newcomer of the Week on one occasion this season (April 23). Orf has broken the Baylor and Big 12 single-season hit-by-pitch records after being plunked 29 times this season.
French finished the 2012 season with a 6-2 record over 21 games for the Longhorns. His ERA of 2.84 at the end of the year made him the only league freshman ranked in the top 15 for that category. Over 21 appearances, he made nine starts, moving from relief work to the starting rotation at the end of the season.
The Dripping Springs, Texas-native is the fourth Longhorn pitcher to earn Freshman of the Year honors. From 2000-05, UT claimed five awards when Freshman Pitchers and Freshman Players were awarded separate distinctions. Overall, French is the ninth freshman to garner the honor for Texas. In conference-only games, the right-hander posted a 4-1 mark over eight outings with a 2.54 ERA.
Smith guided the Bears to their first Big 12 regular-season title since 2005 and third overall. Baylor set a record with an 18-0 start to conference play, sweeping its first six league series of the season. The Bears finished 2012 with the second-best winning percentage in Big 12 games in Conference history. At 20-4, their .833 winning percentage is second only to Texas' .889 set in 2010.
Baylor also recorded a 24-game winning streak, which lasted from March 16-April 22 and ended as the longest in school history and the longest by any Big 12 Conference team since the league began playing baseball in 1997. The Bears passed Texas' 21 straight wins in 2010 for the conference record, and the previous school record was a 20-game winning streak in 1985. In Big 12 games, BU led the league in batting and pitching, posting a .317 batting average and a 2.89 ERA. Offensively, the Bears also finished first in on-base percentage (.396), slugging percentage (.473), runs (155), hits (263), home runs (23), RBI (142) and walks (87). Baylor has been ranked in the top 10 of all four national polls for the past seven weeks, including a No. 1 ranking (the first in program history) on April 23.
Player of the Year: Josh Ludy, Baylor, C, Sr.
Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Heaney, Oklahoma State, LHP, Jr.
Newcomer of the Year: Nathan Orf, Baylor, DH/OF, Jr.
Freshman of the Year: Parker French, RHP, Texas
Coach of the Year: Steve Smith, Baylor
|ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM|
|Name, School||Pos.||Cl.||Hometown/Previous School|
|Lawton Langford, Baylor||INF||So.||Uvalde, Texas/Uvalde|
|Max Muncy, Baylor^||INF||Jr.||Keller, Texas/Keller|
|Erich Weiss, Texas^||INF||So.||Brenham, Texas/Brenham|
|Jacob House, Texas A&M||INF||Sr.||Mansfield, Texas/Timberview|
|Jamodrick McGruder, Texas Tech||INF||Jr.||Mesquite, Texas/Lubbock Coronado|
|Josh Ludy, Baylor||C||Sr.||Portland, Ind./Jay County|
|Logan Vick, Baylor||OF||Jr.||Kerrville, Texas/Tivy|
|Tyler Naquin, Texas A&M^||OF||Jr.||Spring, Texas/Klein Collins|
|Barrett Barnes, Texas Tech^||OF||Jr.||Sugarland, Texas/Fort Bend Austin|
|Nathan Orf, Baylor||DH||Jr.||Wentzville, Mo./Illinois-Chicago|
|Max White, Oklahoma||UTL||Jr.||Durant, Okla./Durant|
|Josh Turley, Baylor||SP||Jr.||Texarkana, Texas/Texas|
|Andrew Heaney, Oklahoma State||SP||Jr.||Oklahoma City, Okla./Putnam City|
|Ross Stripling, Texas A&M^||SP*||Sr.||Southlake, Texas/Southlake Carroll|
|Michael Wacha, Texas A&M||SP||Jr.||Texarkana, Texas/Pleasant Grove|
|Max Garner, Baylor||RP||Jr.||Austin, Texas/Lake Travis|
|Corey Knebel, Texas^||RP||So.||Georgetown, Texas/Georgetown|
|ALL-BIG 12 SECOND TEAM|
|Name, School||Pos.||Cl.||Hometown/Previous School|
|Cal Towey, Baylor||INF||Jr.||Seattle, Wash./Eastside Catholic|
|Wade Hinkle, Kansas State||INF||Sr.||Albuquerque, N.M./Cochise College|
|Robbie Rea, Oklahoma State||INF||Jr.||Topeka, Kan./Cowley County CC|
|Mikey Reynolds, Texas A&M||INF||Jr.||Peoria, Ariz./Paradise Valley CC|
|Scott LeJeune, Texas Tech||INF||Jr.||Austin, Texas/McNeil|
|Jacob Felts, Texas||C||So.||Orange, Texas/Orange|
|Troy Stein, Texas A&M||C*||So.||Castroville, Texas/Medina Valley|
|Jared King, Kansas State||OF||So.||Dublin, Ohio/Jerome|
|Erik Ross, Oklahoma||OF||Sr.||McKinney, Texas/Grayson County College|
|Mark Payton, Texas||OF||So.||Chicago, Ill./St. Rita|
|Matt Juengel, Texas A&M||DH||Sr.||Houston, Texas/Clear Brook|
|Randy McCurry, Oklahoma State||UTL||Jr.||Tupelo, Okla./Tupelo|
|Trent Blank, Baylor||SP||Sr.||Columbia, Ill./Columbia|
|Frank Duncan, Kansas||SP||So.||San Francisco, Calif./Stuart Hall|
|Jordan John, Oklahoma||SP||So.||Corpus Christi, Texas/Calallen|
|Dusty Ross, Missouri||RP||Sr.||Iowa Park, Texas/Vernon College|
|Hoby Milner, Texas||RP||Jr.||Fort Worth, Texas/Paschal|
^ 2011 First Team honoree
Baylor: Dan Evatt, OF, Sr.; Joey Hainsfurther, RHP/C, Sr.
Kansas: James Stanfield, C, Sr.; Tucker Tharp, OF, So.
Kansas State: Tanner Witt, OF, INF
Missouri: Blake Brown, OF, Jr.; Dane Opel, OF, Jr.; Ben Turner, C, Sr.; Rob Zastryzny, SP, So.
Oklahoma: Dillon Overton, SP, So.
Oklahoma State: Hunter Bailey, INF, Sr.; Blake Barnes, RHP, Sr.; Mark Ginther, INF, Sr.; Chase Stevens, RP; Trey Whaley, OF, Jr.
Texas: Jordan Etier, INF, Sr.; Parker French, SP, Fr.; Jonathan Walsh, OF, So.
Texas A&M: Blake Allemand, INF, Fr.; Kyle Martin, RP, Jr.
Texas Tech: Bo Altobelli, C, Jr.; Shane Broyles, RP, Jr.; Duke von Schamann, SP, So.
|Name, School||Pos.||Hometown/Previous School|
|Michael Howard, Baylor||OF||Prescott, Ariz./Prescott|
|Ryan Smith, Baylor||P||Waco, Texas/Midway|
|Adam Toth, Baylor||OF||Coppell, Texas/Coppell|
|Wes Benjamin, Kansas||P||St. Charles, Ill./East|
|Nate Williams, Kansas State||P||Valley Center, Kan./Valley Center|
|Hunter Lockwood, Oklahoma||C||Bedford, Texas/Lawrence Dale Bell|
|Wes Jones, Oklahoma State||INF||Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound|
|John Curtiss, Texas||P||Southlake, Texas/Southlake Carroll|
|Parker French, Texas||P||Dripping Springs, Texas/Dripping Springs|
|Brooks Marlow, Texas||INF||Giddings, Texas/Giddings|
|Dillon Peters, Texas||P||Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral|
|Blake Allemand, Texas A&M||INF||Boerne, Texas/Champion|
|Chance Bolcerek, Texas A&M||OF||Brenham, Texas/Brenham|
|Tim Proudfoot, Texas Tech||INF||North Bend, Wash./Mount Si|