University of Arkansas at Monticello senior second baseman Ben Agredano has made the list of eight finalists for the 2014 Josh Willingham Award, an honor recognizing the most valuable player at the NCAA Division II level. The 2014 award winner will be announced following the conclusion of the ongoing Division II College World Series.
2014 JOSH WILLINGHAM AWARD FINALISTS
Ben Agredano, 2B, Arkansas-Monticello
Sal Giardina, Jr., UTL, Lynn
Austin Kaiser, OF, Colorado Mesa
Kyle Kempf, OF, Southern Indiana
Trevor Rucker, OF, Southern Arkansas
Nick Thimesch, OF, Drury
Derrick Walls, SS, Texas A&M-Kingsville
Adam Zipko, P, Millersville
The Josh Willingham Award honors NCAA Division II’s most valuable player, an individual who not only excels on the field, but in the dugout, clubhouse and practice field, and leads his team to national championship caliber status as well. The semi-finalists were announced on May 21. The 2014 winner will be selected following this week’s Division II College World Series.
Agredano was UAM’s top offensive player during the 2014 season, leading the Weevils to their best season in program history. The 2014 Weevils broke school records in overall wins, conference wins and all-conference selections. The team also earned its first berth into the NCAA Tournament this year, and finished with an overall record of 36-17.
The Anaheim, California native broke UAM’s single season record for hits this past year with 81 in 211 at bats for a team-high .384 batting average. In addition to hits and batting average, he led the team in doubles (16), runs batted in (50), on base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.536) and total bases (113). He led the Great American Conference in hits and ranked second in the league in batting average.
Agredano was named to the 2014 All-GAC First Team, Daktronics All-Region Second Team and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-Region Second Team. He was also named UAM’s 2013-14 Male Athlete of the Year.
The annual honor is named after the former North Alabama All-America selection and current Major League Baseball star, Josh Willingham. While playing baseball at UNA, Willingham was a two-time All-America honoree and tied or broke fourteen school single-game, season, and career records. After his junior season, Willingham was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. He is currently in the midst of his 11th season in the MLB and is an outfielder for the Minnesota Twins.