STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State junior left-handed pitcher Jacob Lindgren has been named one of five finalists for the Stopper of the Year Award, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced Thursday.
In its 10th season, the award honors the top relief pitcher in college baseball. The other four finalists were Sam Moore of UC Irvine, Nick Burdi of Louisville, Michael Cederoth of San Diego State and Brendan McCurry of Oklahoma State.
A first-team All-Southeastern Conference performer as voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches, Lindgren is also a semifinalist for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award for college baseball’s breakout player of the year. In addition, the southpaw was also named a finalist for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy, given annually to the top collegiate player in Mississippi.
The Bay St. Louis, Miss., native is expected to be taken in the first few rounds of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft, which begins Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. CT live on the MLB Network. Lindgren is currently rated the 45th-best draft prospect by national scouting service Perfect Game and the 50th-best draft prospect by Baseball America.
Pitching in a conference which set a national record with 10 bids to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Lindgren led the league in SEC-games only in ERA (0.55), opponent batting average (.114), fewest hits allowed (13), fewest runs allowed (4) and fewest earned runs allowed (2).
Lindgren finished his 2014 campaign leading the nation with 16.3 strikeouts per nine innings and ranking first among all relievers nationally with 100 total strikeouts. Currently third in the SEC in fanned batters, Lindgren joins former first-round picks Paul Maholm and Chris Stratton as the only three MSU hurlers since 2000 with 100-plus strikeouts in a season.
Overall, the lefty went 6-1 in his junior year in 26 appearances, recording team lows in ERA (0.81) and opponent batting average (.124). In his three-year career so far, Lindgren is 12-6 overall with 189 Ks and a 2.64 ERA.
The five finalists were selected from the NCBWA’s 50-player mid-season watch list which was released back in April. The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced Saturday morning, June 14, at a news conference at TD Ameritrade Park at 10 a.m. CT. Lindgren’s teammate, Jonathan Holder, was a finalist last season.