First 2019 Brooks Wallace Award Watch List announced

69 of the best shortstops in college baseball headline the first watch list

April 17th, 2019

LUBBOCK, Texas -- A group of 69 of the most talented athletes in Division I college baseball headline the 2019 Brooks Wallace Award Watch List, the College Baseball Foundation announced Wednesday.

The award, sponsored by Mizuno, honors the nation's top shortstop and will be presented this summer by the College Baseball Foundation. 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's an exciting time of year as we have started to follow shortstops from all over the country for the Brooks Wallace Award," said award co-chair Larry Wallace. "This first watch list has some big hitters and sweet gloves from both small and large programs across the board. Paring these numbers down for subsequent watch lists will be challenging."

The watch list features some of the most recognizable names in college baseball who either have paced perennial powers or led some relative newcomers to new heights.

The top statistical leader on the list is junior Joseph Ortiz at New Mexico State, who is hitting .424 with four home runs and 53 RBI while fielding at an impressive .986 clip for the Aggies. He has racked up 59 hits in 31 games with 17 doubles, five triples and four home runs.

Will Wilson, a junior at North Carolina State, has the Wolfpack in the Top 25 and battling with Louisville for the lead in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Wilson is hitting .352 with nine home run and 38 RBI and has compiled a .982 fielding percentage.

A pair of SEC standouts have emerged for title contenders in Ethan Paul of Vanderbilt and Jordan Westburg of Mississippi State. Paul is hitting .354 with four home runs and 40 RBI to go with a .982 fielding percentage, while Westburg paces the Bulldogs with a .364 average, five home runs and 36 RBI to go with a .926 fielding percentage.

Among the impressive newcomers to the list is Baylor sophomore Nick Loftin, who is driving the Big 12 Conference-leading Bears. He is hitting .392 with 26 RBI and a .930 fielding percentage. Jimmy Titus at Bryant has put together an impressive freshman campaign with a .370 average and seven home runs with 41 RBI and a .931 fielding percentage. On the East Coast, George Washington junior Nate Fassnacht is hitting .423 with seven home runs and 33 RBI and is fielding at a .950 clip.

"Early in the process of selecting our Brooks Wallace Award, there are so many really good shortstops in college baseball at the Division I level," said Tom Quigley, award co-chair. "We catch ourselves wanting to make sure we are all inclusive by having representatives from each and every conference in our initial release."

For more information on the Wallace Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions, visit