MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – J.J. Wetherholt’s name is now permanently etched as one of the best players in Big 12 history. After a historic season, Wetherholt was named the Big 12 Player of the Year Tuesday.
He is the first Mountaineer to win the award since West Virginia joined the Big 12 in 2012. The last WVU baseball player to win a conference player of the year award came in 2003 when Jarod Rine earned Big East Player of the Year honors.
“Players like J.J. don’t come along all that often,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “He’s a tremendous kid, a tremendous personality, very intelligent, great work ethic, unbelievable baseball player. You just know that he’s got a real career in this game [ahead of him]. I hope to be one of the first ones sitting in the stadium when he plays his first big league game. It’s just been a joy to be around him this year. I’ve never seen a season like he’s had before, and the way he’s gone through it and handled it has been something special.”
Wetherholt is seeking to become the first Power-Five player to hit for an average of .450 or higher since World Series champion Buster Posey averaged .463 in his final year at Florida State. Heading into the Big 12 Tournament, his average sits at .447, which is the second-best in the nation. He also has a team-high 16 home runs, which is tied for fifth-best in the Big 12.
He leads the conference in batting average and OPS (1.296).
As a freshman, he received an Honorable Mention to the All-Big 12 Team while earning a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. He hit for a .308 average with five home runs.