2019 Pitcher of the Year Watch List released

The best hurlers in the country comprise the initial watch list of 2019

April 17th, 2019

LUBBOCK, Texas -- The first two months of the 2019 season have provided some amazing performances on the mound, from no-hitters to high-strikeout domination. Those hurlers and more highlight just how good pitching at the college level has become.

The College Baseball Foundation on Wednesday released its initial 2019 Pitcher of the Year Award Watch List, highlighting 69 of the top arms in the country that includes both perennial powers and up-and-coming teams. The award, sponsored by Diamond, will be presented this summer by the CBF.

"I think it is interesting to see the progression of some of last year's student-athletes following up fine seasons last year with great efforts again in 2019," said Brian Melakian, co-chair of the Pitcher of the Year Award. "We have a great mix of returners along with many new names that will make this a fun season to follow."

Highlighting the season so far has been the perfect game thrown by East Carolina sophomore left-hander Jake Kuchmaner, who dominated Maryland on March 17. This came after he was one out away from the Pirates' first no-hitter in 14 years before it was broken up in a game against Mississippi.

And that doesn't take into account all the recognizable names, and potential first-round picks, on this year's watch list.

Making a return appearance on this year's list are two of last year's finalists in juniors Sean Mooney from St. John's and Andre Pallante from UC-Irvine.

Mooney has picked up a pair of wins to go with his 2.17 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, striking out 57. Pallante, meanwhile, has racked up five wins with a 2.80 ERA and 1.05 WHIP while striking out 58.

A trio of hurlers top the list in terms of wins with eight each. Alec Marsh, a junior, has helped pace Arizona State's resurgence while compiling a 2.02 ERA and 54 strikeouts. Landon Knack, a junior at East Tennessee, and Kavin Brown, a senior at Eastern Kentucky, also have put up impressive numbers this season.

The list of strikeout artists brings to light some of the top names at Power 5 conferences this year, though it's senior Noah Song at the U.S. Naval Academy who tops the list with 110 strikeouts to go with a 1.53 ERA and seven wins.

Sophomore Reid Detmers has been dominant for Louisville this season, striking out 94 to go with a 0.82 WHIP and six wins. Mississippi State junior left-hander Ethan Small has four wins and a 1.83 ERA to go with his 94 strikeouts, while Zak Kent at Virginia Military Institute has 92 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP to go with his five wins.

"With a strong group of candidates, this year's award may be the closest ever," said Chris Snead, award co-chair. "There are exceptional pitchers putting up tremendous numbers all across the country this season."

For more information on the Pitcher of the Year Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.