Friday, February 20, 2009

Minor, Gray Receive Preseason Accolades

By Travis Young - Vanderbilt left-hander Mike Minor has been tabbed as Baseball America’s Preseason Candidate for Pitcher of the Year in the Southeastern Conference. The award was announced in Baseball America’s College Baseball Preview Magazine.

Minor enters the season as the ace of the Commodore pitching staff after going 7-3 with a 4.28 ERA last year. This past summer he was named College Summer League Player of the Year by Baseball America after helping the USA Baseball National Team win the gold medal game of the FISU World Championships by throwing 9.2 innings of shutout baseball in the team’s 12-inning win over Japan. The southpaw finished the summer with a 3-0 record and 0.75 ERA to go with 37 strikeouts in a team high 36 innings for the National Team.

Freshman right-hander Sonny Gray also received some preseason recognition as he was tabbed as one of two players for the national “Freshman of Year” award in the same publication. The Smyrna, Tenn., native went 4-0 with 0.79 ERA while posting 78 strikeouts in 35 innings as a senior at Smyrna High.

In the team race, Vanderbilt has been picked to finish third in the SEC East, behind Georgia and Florida.

The Commodores open the season today at Stanford with the opening pitch slated for 7:30 p.m. CT.

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