TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NCBWA) -- A.J. Vanegas is one of fifty players named to the mid-season watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, as announced by the association on Wednesday.
In 11 appearances this season, Vanegas has thrown 20.0 inning without allowing an earned run. Opponents are hitting just .169 off of Stanford's No. 1 reliever and have struck out 14 times.
Vanegas is joined by Louisville's Nick Burdi and Samford's Andres Gracia as pitchers with an ERA of 0.00 on the list.
The Pac-12 is represented by three players, Vanegas, UCLA's David Berg, last year's award winner, and Oregon's Jake Reed.
Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 4, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition.
The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced during the 2014 College World Series.
Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgia’s Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas’ Chance Ruffin earned the honor in 2010. Knebel won in 2011 with Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012.
The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation's top player. It also selects All-America Teams for all Divisions, a Division I Freshman All-American team, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year.