ATHENS, GA.——Former Bulldog All-America Aaron Schunk will receive the Jason Varitek Most Outstanding Scholar-Athlete in Georgia Award from the Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club Saturday in Atlanta.
Schunk, a standout third baseman/pitcher for Georgia from 2017-19, was a three-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll as a psychology major. He was chosen for the award by the organization that supports baseball at all levels. A non-profit group that began in 1965, they have provided scholarships and awards for college players in the state as well as recognized minor and major league players in the Atlanta Braves organization at their annual banquet. Schunk is the first Bulldog since Michael Curry in 2017 to earn this award.
A 6-2, 205-pound native of Atlanta, Ga., Schunk signed a professional contract last June with the Colorado Rockies after they selected him in the second round of Major League Baseball’s draft. A consensus All-American, Schunk was the 2019 recipient of the John Olerud Two-Way National Player of the Year Award too. During his Bulldog career, he helped Georgia to a pair of NCAA Regional appearances as a national top-eight seed. In 2019, he became the first Bulldog in nine years to earn the “Triple Crown,” leading the team in batting (.339), home runs (15) and RBI (58). Additionally, he posted 12 saves to go with a 1-2 mark and a 2.49 ERA in 17 appearances.
In his first season as a professional, Schunk was named a Northwest League post-season All-Star for the Class A Short-Season Boise Hawks. He batted .306 with 12 doubles, two triples, six home runs, and 23 RBI in 46 games.
Also at Saturday’s banquet, the Atlanta Braves will present awards for outstanding performances by Braves minor leaguers in 2019: Trey Harris (Hank Aaron Award), Ian Anderson (Phil Niekro Award), Thomas Burrows (Bill Lucas Award), and Matt Tuiasosopo (Bobby Cox Award). The 2019 Metro Atlanta High School Player of the Year will be given to C.J. Abrams from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School. The Luke Appling Nostalgia Award and the Ivan Allen, Jr. “Mr. Baseball” Award will be announced at the banquet. Phil Niekro College Scholarships will be awarded to the baseball programs at Augusta and Columbus State.
The 2020 college baseball season begins Feb. 14. Fourth-ranked Georgia welcomes back 20 lettermen and 18 newcomers. Georgia’s No. 4 ranking is its best in the preseason since 2009.