Trio Of Ducks Named To Slugger Watch List
Eugene, Ore. – The Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award (BBCSA) presented by SR Bats named Gabe Matthews, Kenyon Yovan and Aaron Zavala to its preseason watch list today.
Yovan, a redshirt junior, is coming off a season where he earned Collegiate Baseball first-team All-America honors as a designated hitter after leading Oregon in hitting (.429), hits (24), home runs (4), runs scored (22) and walks (15). He also topped the team in on-base percentage (.556) and slugging percentage (.714), while finishing with nine RBI, two doubles and a triple. Yovan finished the season with six multi-hit games including five 3-hit games. In the Pac-12 Conference, he finished in the top three in seven offensive categories while ranking in the top six in two more. Yovan was second in the league in slugging percentage and runs scored, third in batting average, OBP, hits, home runs (tied) and total bases and sixth in the conference in walks and hit by pitches. The BBCSA honor is the third of the preseason for Yovan, who also earned preseason All-American by both Collegiate Baseball and D1Baseball.
Zavala, a sophomore, earned his first career All-America honor after batting .418 with a home run and a team-high 22 RBI. The Salem, Ore., native led the Ducks in both multi-hit (8) and multi-RBI (9) games while finishing with four 2-hit and four 3-hit games. Zavala led the Pac-12 Conference in RBI, while finishing fourth in batting average and hits (23) and 11th in on-base percentage (.493). Nationally, he ranked 11th in RBI per game, 16th in RBI and 18th in toughest to strikeout (three strikeouts in 67 plate appearances). Zavala claimed third-team Collegiate Baseball All-America honors following the 2020 season.
Matthews, a senior, heads into the 2020 season ranked in Oregon's career top 10 in 12 separate career categories -- on-base percentage, walks, doubles), at-bats, games started, hits, RBI, hit by pitches, multi-RBI games, slugging percentage and multi-hit games. A four-year starter, Matthews ended the 2020 season batting .339 with a home run, 15 RBI and 13 runs scored. He ranked among the Pac-12 leaders in hit by pitches (3rd), on-base percentage (7th), walks (7th) and RBI (10th).
Matthews, Yovan and Zavala will lead an Oregon team that returns all nine starters and all but one of its pitchers into the 2021 season that starts on Feb. 19 when the Ducks host Omaha. Oregon will play its first eight games at home before hitting the road for the first time.