New crop of talent comprises 2022 John Olerud Award semifinalists

May 16th, 2022

LUBBOCK, Texas – A new year brings a new crop of the best two-way players in college baseball.

The College Baseball Foundation announced its 10 semifinalists for the 2022 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, and the list is composed entirely of all-new players who were not on the semifinalist list a year ago.

But that doesn’t mean the race to win the award hasn’t been just as competitive. In fact, the 10 semifinalists for the 2022 award represent teams who are in the thick of the race for a regional berth, some of whom have their teams closing in or hosting and Top 8 national seed spots as well. All the while, they are putting up tremendous numbers both on the mound and at the plate.

“What we’re seeing this year is a lot of the title contenders and regional hopefuls are leaning heavily on their two-way players, whether they are seasoned veterans or new to the college game,” said Olerud Award chairman George Watson. “Each week, our semifinalists are being counted on in key situations, from starting on the mound to closing out games or coming up with the big hits to send their teams to victory. The way this is shaping up it could be the closest race we have since the award was created in 2010.”

The award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s and was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented by the College Baseball Foundation later this summer.

All 10 of the semifinalists have been named the Olerud Award weekly winner at least once, with Virginia sophomore Devin Ortiz earning the honor twice. Ortiz has the 12th-ranked Cavaliers in the thick of the chase for the Atlantic Coast Conference Central Division title, hitting .304 with five home runs and 41 RBI in 46 games while compiling a 5-1 record and 2.03 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.

After missing time early in the season, Air Force sophomore Paul Skenes has come on lately for the Falcons. On the mound he is 7-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts, having struck out 67 in 61.2 innings while at the plate he is hitting .288 with nine home runs and 30 RBI.

Georgia State sophomore Cameron Jones has been electric at the plate, hitting .371 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI, and on the mound, he has a 2.15 ERA with five saves and 31 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. Coppin State sophomore Jordan Hamberg also is having an outstanding season, hitting .364 in 39 games with eight home runs with 30 RBI while going 5-2 with a 3.67 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 56.1 innings.

The five finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award will be announced on May 30.

For more information on the Olerud Award, visit the College Baseball Foundation website at