9th Round pick Ben Orloff has won the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the nation's top collegiate shortstop.
UC-Irvine coach Mike Gillespie:
“I sometimes hesitate to praise guys until they’re gone because some guys can’t handle it. And then they’re up for ridicule by their teammates, because the coach loves him and all that stuff. Well, this guy’s different. One, he can handle it and, two, everybody else feels the same way [about him]. There’s not anybody that doesn’t love him and doesn’t realize what a special player he is."
Gillespie, in 42 seasons as a college head coach, said several times during the season that he has never seen a player with a more intelligence on the field.
“I don’t know how else to say it: His instincts, his clue, his feel for the game, his baseball IQ, is like nothing else. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. The guy is just ... I’m not kidding. I shouldn’t be surprised, yet something always comes up where I’m surprised. He doesn’t change. There’s no arrogance. He’s unselfish to the absolute max. I mean he should be a major league manager. He might be wasted as a major league manager, because they can do so little, in terms of all these little things ... He probably should be a college coach, a college head coach. And he’s ready to do it right now. I’m not kidding, he’s a better coach than I am.
He’s a joy, an absolute joy. And you can tell him how great he is and he’s gonna shake it off and it ain’t going to change him.”