Hargrove wins Bragan Award
LOVES PARK, Ill. – It’s been a big week for Hunter Hargrove.
The slugging utilityman, who led the Rockford Rivets in home runs last season, was drafted by the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Texas Tech University senior was named the inaugural winner of the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award. The award is given to the top hitter among the 21 NCAA Division I programs in the state of Texas.
This spring, Hargrove hit a team-high .343 with five home runs and 51 RBI. He led the Red Raiders with 84 hits. His 26 doubles led the Big 12 Conference. Texas Tech won its second straight Big 12 title, but lost in NCAA regional action in Lubbock earlier this month.
On Wednesday, Oakland took Hargrove in the 25th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Though Hargrove missed the first month of the 2016 Northwoods League season because of the Texas Tech’s run to the College World Series, he led the Rivets in the other two Triple Crown categories. He batted .306 with eight home runs and 36 RBI. He started at all three outfield positions and every infield spot but shortstop last summer. He was the regular first baseman at Texas Tech this spring.
According to the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation website, the nomination was open to players from all Division I baseball programs in Texas. The BBCSA originally had 22 players nominated for the award. Eight more players were added to the watch list at midseason. A 15-member selection committee voted on the candidates. The award is based on performance at the plate, academics and personal integrity.
Hargrove is a two-time academic all-conference pick. He is scheduled to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in media strategies.
Hargrove has been noticed by other awards committees. The Big 12 named him Player of the Year on May 23. He’s also been named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Award, college baseball’s top honor.
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League, in its 24th season of summer collegiate baseball. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 170 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals), two-time World Champion Ben Zobrist (Chicago Cubs) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox), Jordan Zimmermann (Detroit Tigers), Curtis Granderson (New York Mets) and Lucas Duda (Mets). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website, NorthwoodsLeague.com.
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