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Jac Caglianone named a finalist for John Olerud Award

Untitled designby:Nick de la Torre06/05/24

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida first baseman/pitcher Jac Caglianone was named one of five finalists for the 2024 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. Caglianone is the lone player on the list that was also a finalist last season.

Caglianone is having a prolific season for the Gators. The left-hander has started all 60 games for the Gators this season. He leads the team in every slash category (.410/.526/.847) in addition to a team-high 31 home runs (third nationally), 94 hits (12th), 75 runs (17th), 63 RBI, 194 total bases (fifth) and a 1.373 OPS. Caglianone has struck out 25 fewer times (23) than he has walked (48) including 24 intentional free passes. The two-way star ranks sixth in the country in slugging, seventh in hitting and ninth in on-base percentage. This year alone, Caglianone has tied both the NCAA record for most-consecutive games with a home runs (nine) and the program mark for longest hitting streak (30).

On the mound, Caglianone has made 14 starts and thrown 67 innings. His 4.57 ERA and .225 batting average against are tops among qualified UF pitchers, powering Caglianone to a 5-2 record. He ranks third in the SEC in fewest hits allowed (56), seventh in least homers surrendered (eight), 10th in opposing batting average and 15th in ERA.

The John Olerud Award is named for former Washington State University standout John Olerud, who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s. He was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented by the College Baseball Foundation later this year.

Jac Caglianone and the other finalists

  • Ethan Bates, Sr., RHP/IF, Louisiana Tech: Bates established himself this year as the top closer in the country with 17 saves in 35 appearances to go with a 2-1 record and 3.50 ERA. But that’s only half the story as the Conference USA Player of the Year hit .343 for the season with 15 home runs and 74 RBIs to go with a .622 slugging percentage in 62 games.

  • Carson Benge, Jr., RHP/OF, Oklahoma State: Benge did a little bit of everything for the Big 12 tournament champion Cowboys this season. He started the season as a reliever and racked up three saves before converting to OSU’s most consistent starter, finishing with a 3-1 record and 2.25 ERA in 17 appearances. At the plate, he hit .342 with 17 home runs, 62 RBIs and a .680 slugging percentage.

  • Jac Caglianone, Sr., 1B/LHP, Florida: The most recognizable name in the country in college baseball in terms of two-way players, Caglianone picked right up where he left off as a finalist for the 2023 award. He was a monster at the plate, hitting .415 with 29 home runs and 58 RBIs with an .844 slugging percentage and .988 fielding percentage. On the mound he went 5-1 with a 4.32 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 62 innings.

  • Cam Jones, Sr., RHP/IF, Georgia Tech: A three-year all-Sun Belt selection at nearby Georgia State where he was a two-time Olerud Award Watch List honoree, Jones continued his stellar play this year for the Yellowjackets. He finished the regular season hitting .325 with five home runs and 34 RBIs and a .997 fielding percentage, and on the mound went 3-2 with a 5.85 ERA, racking up three saves and 38 strikeouts in 52.1 innings.

  • Austin Smith, Jr., RHP/OF, San Diego: A two-time Olerud Award semifinalist, Austin Smith had an outstanding season in leading the Toreros to both the West Coast Conference regular-season and tournament titles. He has the best record of all the finalists on the mound, going 6-0 with a 2.96 ERA and three saves in 51.2 innings with 45 strikeouts, and he hit .314 with seven home runs and 39 RBIs.

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