The Southeastern Conference announced the end of season honors, and unsurprisingly, Florida didn’t come away with many individual awards. Most of the Gators lineup and pitching staff failed to meet expectations and suffered through a mediocre season (by UF standards).
While two Gators earned the All-SEC designation (Nelson Maldonado, First Team All-SEC and Kendrick Calilao, Freshman All-SEC), one player was unfairly left off the first or second team.
Sophomore shortstop Brady McConnell was easily the team’s most consistent bat. The Merritt Island, Florida native led the team in most offensive categories including batting average (among qualified candidates), home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and walks (tied with two others).
McConnell served as the glue that kept the Gators lineup going. Unfortunately, the SEC coaches weren’t as impressed.
Obviously, you can’t add a player to the All-SEC team without subtracting another. So let’s do this, check out these blind resumes and decide who deserves to be included:
Player A is First Team All-SEC shortstop selection, Grae Kessinger of Ole Miss. Player B is Second Team All-SEC shortstop Casey Martin of Arkansas. McConnell rounds out the blind resumes as Player C.
As you can see above, McConnell has the highest batting average of the trio and is tied with Martin for the most home runs.
While all three deserve to be mentioned among the SEC’s best, it appears that the league’s coaches overlooked the fact that McConnell served as one of the few consistencies in an incredibly inconsistent lineup.
Disclaimer: this is not meant to diminish the season that either Grae Kessinger or Casey Martin had. Both were excellent players and had fantastic seasons. This is simply meant to give credit to the best player in the Gators uniform this year.