Twins Draft Pick, Ohio St. Hurler named National Pitcher of the Year


Alex Wimmers

Alex Wimmers has been chosen as the best pitcher in college baseball for the 2010 season. Ohio State’s junior All-American, who fashioned a 9-0 record and a 1.61 earned run average this season, was named by the College Baseball Foundation (CBF) as its National Pitcher of the Year Friday in Lubbock, Texas.

Career-wise Wimmers, who was drafted in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft by the Minnesota Twins, ranks among Ohio State’s all-time Top 5 in four key statistical areas and he is sixth in another. He is fourth at Ohio State in fewest runs allowed (81) and he is fifth in strikeouts (273), fewest earned runs allowed (71) and fewest hits (173). He is also sixth in earned run average (2.94). His 18 career victories rank 23rd. His strikeout total is also good for a tie for 16th-place all-time in the Big Ten Conference.


“I was thrilled, absolutely thrilled to learn I had won the award,” Wimmers said. “It just goes to show that hard, hard work truly can pay off.”

Wimmers, just the second winner of the CBF’s National Pitcher of the Year Award after Stephen Strasburg won it last year, was chosen for the honor over an all-star line-up of outstanding collegiate pitchers, including finalists Drew Pomeranz, who was 9-2 with a 2.24 ERA this season for Mississippi, and Chris Sale, the Florida Gulf Coast hurler who was 11-0 with a 2.01 ERA.

The 10 semifinalists included Arizona State’s Seth Blair, Cal State Fullerton’s Noe Ramirez, Coastal Carolina’s Anthony Meo, Texas’ Chance Ruffin, Texas A&M’s John Stilson, Virginia’s Danny Hultzen and TCU’s Matt Purke.

“It’s such a great honor to be chosen by the College Baseball Foundation for this award,” Wimmers said. “It’s hard to explain what I am feeling. To think that Stephen Strasburg won this award last year and now I’m getting it this year. It’s really crazy, isn’t it? This is just so unbelievable and it truly is an honor.”

The Foundation, in conjunction with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America, announced its National Pitcher of the Year winner in Lubbock, Texas, as part of its College Baseball Awards Show. The event also included the naming of the Dick Howser Award for the National Player of the Year and the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. The awards followed the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony that took place July 1 in Lubbock.

Bob Todd, Ohio State’s retiring head coach, attended the awards show in support of his ace hurler.

“This is an outstanding award for a very deserving person,” Todd said. “Alex has worked extremely hard and it has made him the pitcher that he is today. I think there would be so many more accolades that would have been bestowed upon Alex if he hadn’t have gotten hurt and missed a month of the season. But all-in-all, I think this is absolutely great for our baseball program at Ohio State to have a national award winner in Alex Wimmers.”

Ironically, the CBF Hall of Fame’s inaugural induction ceremony in 2008 included Ohio State’s Steve Arlin, who set the standard of greatness for an Ohio State pitcher. Arlin, Ohio State’s first two-time first-team All-American, helped lead the Buckeyes to back-to-back appearances at the College World Series in 1965 and 1966 and to its only national championship in 1966.

For his efforts Arlin was honored as the Most Valuable Player at the College World Series in 1966 and is a member of the All-Time College World Series Team and the College World Series Legend’s team. His Ohio State jersey, No. 22, was retired in 2004.

Wimmers, the first Buckeye to win one of the national season-long awards and the second two-time first-team All-America, certainly did his best to reach the rare air of Arlin. After pitching out of the bullpen as a freshman in 2008, Wimmers put together two outstanding seasons as an Ohio State starter.

He first came onto the college baseball national scene in 2009 when he went 9-2 with a 3.27 ERA and was named first-team All-America by PING! Baseball and second- or third-team All-America by five other awarding publications. He threw the first nine-inning no hitter in Ohio State history May 2 vs. Michigan with 14 strikeouts. He also picked up back-to-back complete game victories with 29 combined strikeouts vs. Indiana (14 Ks) and Pittsburgh. He also got the win vs. No. 2 Miami and he was named Big Ten Conference co-Pitcher of the Year. He led the Big Ten with 136 strikeouts and with a .211 opponents’ batting average.

In 2010, Wimmers led the Big Ten in ERA and opposing batting average (.218) while posting his 9-0 mark despite missing three starts with a hamstring injury. He was 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA in five Big Ten starts and he was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year at the conclusion of the season, becoming the first back-to-back award winner in Big Ten history.

Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

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