Kole Cottam a semi-finalist for Howser trophy

download.jpg

Cottam, Named Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists

Wildcats’ top two hitters are among 35 players up for Player of the Year award

By Matt May
UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior infielder/outfielder Luke Heyer and junior catcher/first baseman Kole Cottam have been named Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists, it was announced Thursday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

The award honors the top collegiate baseball player in the nation for their performance on the field. There are 35 semifinalists and the finalists, based on two rounds of voting, will be announced June 8. The winner will be announced on the MLB Network on June 15. Previous winners include former UK star AJ Reed, who brought home the award in 2014.

Heyer, from Lithia, Fla., has burst onto the scene this season with his prodigious power at the plate. He has twice been named SEC Player of the Week and also earned National Player of the Week honors earlier this season. Playing three positions defensively has not hindered his bat, as he is hitting .349 with an OPS of 1.145. He ranks 10th nationally in home runs (17) and 12th in slugging percentage (.703) with 55 RBI and 135 total bases.

Cottam is from Knoxville, Tenn., while his father is from Burlington and attended University of Memephis. Cottam has split duties evenly between catcher and first base but has proven a threat in the lineup regardless of his defensive responsibilities. He is batting a team-high .350 with an OPS of 1.093 this season. He has matched Heyer’s 17 home runs, has 47 RBIs and has left the yard in 11 of the Cats’ 13 weekend series this season, including seven of nine in Southeastern Conference play.