Brian Baron Named Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalist
April 26, 2001
LOS ANGELES - UCLA senior designated hitter Brian Baron (Newhall, CA/Hart HS) has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy, it was announced today. The award is presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, in conjunction with the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Chamber of Commerce and goes to the top college baseball player.
Baron leads the nation with a .480 batting average and his average is almost 20 points higher than the closest competitor. He has 84 hits in 175 at-bats. He has recorded a hit in all but two games this season, and has had seven four-hit games. His average was as high as .529 as recently as April 7, but has dropped to .480 as more teams have pitched around him.
He had a 21 game hitting streak halted on March 13 when he went 0-for-1 with three walks and a sacrifice fly against Cal State Northridge.
In addition, Baron is on pace to break the UCLA single season hits record. He already has 84 hits in 41 games, averaging 2.05 hits per game. With 15 games left in UCLA's regular season, Baron is on pace to have 114 hits, passing Bill Scott who hit 112 in 2000.
UCLA's schedule is among the toughest in the nation. The Bruins have played No. 1 Stanford, then-No. 1 USC, Cal State Fullerton, Tulane, Pepperdine, North Carolina and Arizona. The challenging schedule continues as UCLA will face Cal State Fullerton, USC, California, Oregon State and Arizona State in the next few weeks.
Baron played his first two seasons at Northwestern University, hitting .375 and .349 as a freshman and sophomore, respectively. He transferred to UCLA in 1999 and hit .293 as a junior. He redshirted the 2000 season with a knee injury, but has been on a tear in his final season in Westwood.
Baron was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 46th round of the 2000 Major League draft, but elected to return to UCLA for his senior season.
Baron is one of 20 semifinalists named today. There are four Pac-10 players on the list and three pitchers that Baron has faced.