The UGA baseball team awards were announced its annual team honors Monday after the Bulldogs concluded the 2016 campaign with a 27-30 mark and an appearance in the SEC Tournament.
The Bulldogs had six student-athletes selected in the MLB First Year Player Draft earlier this month, bringing the total to 16 under Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin, who wrapped up his third season at the helm.
GORDON BECKHAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Skyler Weber
Junior Skyler Weber is the 2016 recipient of the Gordon Beckham MVP Award. He was one of only two Bulldogs to start all 57 games, and he led the team in batting, hits, doubles and stolen bases plus fielded .991 as an outfielder/catcher. He batted in the leadoff spot in the order for 22 games including 10 times when catching, and that was a first in the modern era of Georgia Baseball, and the only catcher in the SEC to do it in 2016. Weber, a 5-10, 176-pound native of Gainesville, Ga., was an 18th round draft pick of the Oakland Athletics as a catcher and signed with the organization last week. He has yet to make his professional debut but likely will be assigned to the Vermont Lake Monsters in Burlington. Their season began last Friday. They are members of the New York-Penn League.
JIM UMBRICHT AWARD: Heath Holder
This award goes to the player deemed “most competitive” by the coaching staff. A fifth-year senior, Holder bolstered the pitching staff in his first year as a starter, going 4-5 with a 3.68 ERA and one save in 19 appearances. The 6-6, 211-pound native of Loganville, Ga., led the Southeastern Conference in holding opponents to a .174 batting average. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from the University of Georgia this past May. Holder was a 25th round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies and signed with the club last week. He has been assigned to the Grand Junction (Colo.) Rockies in the Pioneer League, and their season began last Saturday.
BERT KIZER AWARD: Michael Curry
Awarded annually to a first-year letterman, this goes to a student-athlete who displayed exemplary achievement in the combined areas of academics, athletics and citizenship. Catcher Michael Curry is the 2016 recipient after earning Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC honors. A 5-11, 205 pound native of Gainesville, Ga., he appeared in 54 games with 50 starts and led the team with 11 home runs and knocked in 34 runs. He posted a .990 fielding percentage in 43 starts at catcher. He likely will be named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll later this summer. Currently, Curry is playing summer baseball for the Strasburg (Va.) Express in the Valley League.
On a related note, the Jim Whatley Captain’s Award will reflect the 2016 recipient as the “Team” after the squad decided not to elect captains this season and instead share the responsibility.