Why Does the Big 12 Love Co-Award Winners So Much?
The Big 12 awards were released and I don't think Texas Tech has any complaints with five Red Raiders being named to the first team. Getting the First team honors were Josh Jung, Cameron Warren, Caleb Kilian, Taylor Floyd and Gabe Holt.
Three more Red Raiders received second team honors with Clayton Beeter, Brian Klein and Dylan Neuse getting the nod. Beeter was also tabbed to the All-Freshman Team, along with Micah Dallas and Cole Stilwell.
As far as the solo awards, there weren't any real Red Raider snubs even though Caleb Killian earned his way into the conversation of pitcher of the year it went to Alek Manoah. Jake Guenther of TCU got the Newcomer of the year award over Dylan Neuse. The Freshman of the year went to Jordan Wicks of Kansas State even though Micah Dallas finished strong in Big 12 play.
The Coach of the Year could easily go to Tim Tadlock every year but the fact is the Red Raiders were expected to win the Big 12 and they did. It's the coach that gets the perceived underdog into the conversation that generally wins coach of the year and this year West Virginia's Randy Mazey was that man.
The real complaint I have with the whole process in the Big 12 is that they don't have the peanuts to just name one Player of the Year. It's Instead, they offer up a limp co-winner and devalue the award by half. Did Josh Jung deserve player of the year? Yes he did. He could have won it his Freshman year and earned it last year too but Texas won the Big 12 so Kody Clemons won the Award. Does Davis Wendzel? Deserve player of the year? I guess you could argue the case but his resume is not as strong as Jung's and that's obvious.
The Award has historically been seen as the best player on the best team. Josh Jung is the best player on Texas Tech, the Big 12 Champion. That's the logic. In 2017 when Hunter Hargrove shared the Big 12 Player of the Year with a TCU player I couldn't get too up in arms because they Horned Frogs were Co-Big 12 Champs. I saw the logic.
This year? Not so much. Josh Jung should be the solo Player of the Year. Cam Warren and Gabe Holt had as much argument to be co-players of the year as Wendzel did.
Wendzel lead the league in batting average hitting .385 on the season, but he only played in 15 conference games. Was he on his way to carving out an impressive resume? Sure. Did he and his team win the Big 12? No, they did not.
This isn't me being a homer either. If Davis Wendzel and his 15 games was the best player in the conference then give him the award. If Josh Jung, at a premium defensive position, was the best player in the league give it to him.
Or, if there's a guy who has 16 more RBI than anyone else in the league you could award it to him.
*cough cough Cam Warren cough cough*