Wetherholt named Big 12 Player of the Year; Mazey league’s top coach

West Virginia second baseman JJ Wetherholt continues to make history.

After leading the Big 12 Conference and finishing second nationally with a .447 batting average, Wetherholt was named Tuesday as the Big 12 Player of the Year, becoming the first WVU player to garner the award.

For the second time in his tenure with the Mountaineers, manager Randy Mazey is the league’s coach of the year.

Honorees are selected from a vote of the league’s head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players.

Wetherholt added 15 home runs, 56 RBIs, 65 runs, 21 doubles, a pair of triples and 35 stolen bases over 50 games, 49 of which he started. He was hitless in only five contests.

“Players like JJ don’t come along all that often,” Mazey said. “There’s players that in 35 years I’ve coached, you just know they’re good players. JJ is a different cat now. He does it all really well and he’s a tremendous kid with a tremendous personality. Very intelligent and a great work ethic. Unbelievable baseball player and you just know he has a real career in this game. I hope to be one of the first ones sitting in the stadium when he plays his first big league game. It’s been a joy to be around him this year. I’ve never seen a season like he’s had and the way he’s gone through and handled it has been something special.”

Randy Mazey looks on from West Virginia’s dugout. Photo by Teran Malone

Mazey helped guide WVU to a share of the Big 12 regular season championship for the first time. The Mountaineers finished the regular season 39-16 and won 15 of 24 games in league play. With one more victory, WVU would set a single season school record for wins.

Wetherholt, one of three unanimous first-team all-Big 12 picks, is joined by two teammates as all-league selections in starting pitcher Ben Hampton and relief pitcher Carlson Reed.

The other unanimous first-team all-league selections are Texas’ Lucas Gordon, who was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, and Texas Tech infielder Gavin Kash. 

The Mountaineers also have a trio of all-conference second-team selections in outfielders Landon Wallace and Braden Barry and starting pitcher Blaine Traxel.

WVU’s honorable mention selections include: David Hagaman, first baseman Grant Hussey, Dayne Leonard, Aidan Major, Caleb McNeely, Logan Sauve, Tevin Tucker.

Oklahoma State’s Tyler Wulfert is the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, while Kodey Shojinaga of Kansas and the Cowboys’ Nolan Schubert are co-Freshmen of the Year.


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