Red Raider outfielder Dylan Neuse and infielder Cal Conley have been named to the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award (BBCSA) Watch List for the 2021 college baseball season.
Neuse is one of 14 players being named to the watch list in back-to-back years.
The BBCSA, presented by SR bats, in the past has gone to the player who has had the best performance at the plate and has upheld academic and personal integrity throughout all Division 1 programs located in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, according to the BBCSA website.
In its inaugural season, it was given to the best bat solely in the state of Texas.
As of 2020, however, the award has gone national, meaning any student playing in Division 1 baseball can be eligible to win the award, regardless of state.
The award was not given out last season, after it was announced in March that the 2020 NCAA tournament would not be held due to COVID-19 concerns.
Neuse and Conley are on the watch list after slashing one home run and 12 runs batted in on a .355 batting average, and 3 home runs and 24 runs batted in on a .371 batting average respectively during the shortened 2020 season.
Both players were also two of the four Red Raiders added to the preseason all-conference team in January, with Neuse even being projected as the Big 12 player of the year. In the same preseason poll, Tech was picked as the preseason favorite by the conference’s coaches while being ranked third nationally by Baseball America.
Since the awards arrival in 2017, two players donning the scarlet and black have taken home the award.
Infielder Hunter Hargrove took it home with his impressive .343 batting average, 5 home runs, and 51 runs batted in during the award’s inaugural season in 2017. Infielder Josh Jung was its most recent winner in 2019 following his .343 batting average, 15 home runs, and 58 runs batted in.
Both players were drafted later in the years they won the award, with Hargrove being selected in the 25th round by the Oakland Athletics and Jung being selected with the eighth pick of the first round by the Texas Rangers.
Fourty-seven total players were announced to the watch list, with 11 of them coming from Texas schools and nine coming from the Big 12.
Tech baseball has raked in a flurry of awards and top-tier rankings ahead of the 2021 season.
The Red Raiders are ranked at either No. 3 or No. 4 across five preseason polls, according to Tech Athletics.
D1Baseball, Baseball America and Perfect Game held the Red Raiders at the third-place position, while Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and NCBWA have given Tech fourth-place rankings.
2021 will serve as the fourth-consecutive year the Red Raiders have been in the top five of NCBWA’s rankings, according to Tech Athletics, and on a Big 12 scale, Tech ranks ahead of the pack.
Every season since 2016, Tech has been chosen as the conference favorite in the preseason pollings, and 2021 is no different.
The poll is voted upon by coaches around the conference, who deem which team will finish atop the Big 12 to finish the season.
According to Tech Athletics, seven out of nine first place votes were given to Tech, which included 63 total points.
History continues as Texas is the only other school in league history to rank atop the poll for four seasons in a row, according to Tech Athletics.
Tech baseball will officially begin on Feb. 19 when the No. 3 Red Raiders take on the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks at Globe Life Field in Arlington.