2024 Brooks Wallace Award finalists unveiled

June 4th, 2024

LUBBOCK, Texas – The Brooks Wallace Award announced the five finalists for the 2024 award, highlighting the best of the best shortstops across the country.

The top five shortstops chosen by the Brooks Wallace Award committee represent players from both Power 5 and mid-major schools who have put up incredible numbers, and a couple who led their respective teams to the NCAA Tournament. These players are not only leaders at the plate, but back up their stellar hitting with outstanding defense.

The five finalists for the 2024 Brooks Wallace Award are Austin Peay junior Jon Jon Gazdar, Ball State senior Michael Hallquist, Rutgers junior Josh Kuroda-Grauer, Mississippi State sophomore David Mershon and Virginia junior Griff O’Ferrall.

“Our list of finalists this year comes with some stellar defensive stats with very few errors from all five players,” said Brooks Wallace Award co-chair Larry Wallace. “When it comes to the plate, there are some impressive numbers there as well. It's always tough to determine who best represents all the qualities we look for in Brooks' award, and I look forward to that process in the coming weeks.”

The award honors the nation's top shortstop and will be presented by the College Baseball Foundation later this year. It is named for former Texas Tech shortstop Brooks Wallace, who played for the Red Raiders from 1977 to 1980. Wallace died of leukemia at the age of 27.

It is the second straight year for O’Ferrall to appear on the finalist list.

Here is a closer look at the five finalists (statics listed are before the NCAA tournament):

  • Jon Jon Gazdar, Jr., Austin Peay: The Governors had one of the best seasons in school history, tying for the Atlantic Sun championships behind a fantastic season from Gazdar, who hit .405 with 13 home runs and 55 RBI while also fielding at a .964 clip.
  • Michael Hallquist, Sr., Ball State: Hallquist helped lead Ball State to a tremendous season that ended in the championship game of the Mid-American Conference. On the season, he hit .371 with 21 home runs and 56 RBI while compiling a .971 fielding percentage.
  • Josh Kuroda-Grauer, Jr. Rutgers: The Big Ten Player of the Year, Kuroda-Grauer was a consistent force in the lineup for the Scarlet Knights. On the season he hit .428 with five home runs and 45 RBI while fielding at a .969 pace.
  • David Mershon, Soph., Mississippi State: Mershon helped bring the Bulldogs back to NCAA prominence with a spot in the NCAA tournament after finishing third in the SEC West. Mershon hit .335 on the season with five home runs and 39 RBI and had the best fielding percentage of the five finalists at .989.
  • Griff O’Ferrall, Jr., Virginia: A stalwart at shortstop for the Cavaliers the last two years, O’Ferrall had another outstanding season, leading Virgina to a NCAA hosting spot. He hit .336 with five home runs and 49 RBI to go with a .986 fielding percentage.

The winner of the 2024 Brooks Wallace Award will be announced on June 19.

For more information on the Wallace Award or the Night of Champions event, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.

2024 Brooks Wallace Award Finalists

Name, School, Conference

  • Jon Jon Gazdar, Austin Peay, Atlantic Sun
  • Michael Hallquist, Ball State, Mid-American
  • Josh Kuroda-Grauer, Rutgers, Big Ten
  • David Mershon, Mississippi State, SEC
  • Griff O'Ferrall, Virginia, ACC