The Big 12 Conference announced its 2022 baseball award winners on Tuesday ahead of the conference tournament, which is set to begin on Wednesday, May 25.
The tournament will conclude on Sunday, May 29th, likely with a name or two on this list taking part in the final contest.
Texas Tech had two individual selections which led the conference, with TCU, Texas, and Oklahoma each having one selection a piece, pointing to the balance in the upper half of the conference standings.
Here is the complete list of the 2022 Big 12 Baseball Individual Awards.
Big 12 Player of the Year
Texas First Baseman Ivan Melendez
Melendez is also considered a frontrunner for the National Player of the Year after leading the Big 12 in several offensive categories, including: batting average (.421), home runs (28), runs batted in (85), on-base percentage (.531), slugging percentage (.941) and OPS (1.472). His 28 home runs also lead all of college baseball, while his .421 batting average ranks second in the country. This selection was basically a foregone conclusion with the way that Meledez has played in 2022.
Big 12 Pitcher of the Year
Texas Tech RHP Brandon Birdsell
After maintaining an 8-3 record in 2022, Brandon Birdsell was given the honor of Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. Birdsell’s 12 strikeouts per nine innings were second in the conference. Birdsell held batters to a Big 12-best .204 average, as was his ERA (2.55). He also ranked second in the conference in strikeouts (96) and wins, going 5-2 in Big 12 play.
Big 12 Freshman of the Year
Texas Tech Catcher Hudson White
White came on strong in Big 12 play at the plate, maintaining a batting average of .337 while hitting four home runs and 22 RBIs in conference play. He also held outstanding numbers for on-base percentage (.435) and slugging percentage (.528), giving him a .963 OPS in Big 12 play. His play down the stretch helped the Red Raiders claim the two-seed in the Big 12 tournament and finish ranked inside the Top 10.
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year
Oklahoma First Baseman Blake Robertson
Blake Robertson proved to be a great addition for the Sooners this season as he led the Big 12 with 22 doubles and 61 walks, while maintaining a .338 batting average and .498 on-base percentage. When conference play came around, Robertson stepped up his game with a .360 BA and has a 35-game on-base streak, which was the longest for any Big 12 player this season.
Big 12 Coach of the Year
TCU Head Coach Kirk Saarloos
Under Saarloos’ tutelage the TCU Horned Frogs earned their second straight regular season title, making him the only coach to win the Big 12 in his first season at the helm. Among first year coached in D-I baseball, Saarloos is tied for the lead in wins (35) and ranks second in winning percentage (.660). His Horned Frogs will be a tough draw for anyone in the postseason, Big 12 tournament and beyond.