June 24, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State University right handed pitcher Mike Leake has been named the National Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Leake becomes the 14th Sun Devil to be named National Player of the Year and the first since Paul Lo Duca in 1993.
The junior from Fallbrook, Calif. finished the 2009 season with a 16-1 record, the most wins of any pitcher in the nation. He struck out 162 batters in 142 innings, recording an ERA of 1.71 and throwing seven complete games. He turned in one of the greatest careers in Sun Devil baseball history, with a 40-6 lifetime record. The 40 wins is tied for the most ever by a three-year player at ASU and is tied for third most in school history. Leake was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year in each of the last two seasons, the first ever back-to-back winner. He was a unanimous First Team All-American selection and is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, Howser Award and Pitcher of the Year award.
Previous winners of the ABCA National Player of the Year Award are Buster Posey (2008, Florida State), David Price (2007, Vanderbilt), Brand Lincoln (2006, Houston), Alex Gordon (2005, Nebraska), Jered Weaver (2004, Long Beach State), Rickie Weeks (2003, Southern), Khalil Greene (2002, Clemson) and Mark Prior (2001, USC).
Leake was also one of three Sun Devils named a First Team All-American by the ABCA. Leake was joined on the team by outfielder Jason Kipnis and catcher Carlos Ramirez. Kipnis led the Devils with his .384 average and 76 runs scored, while Ramirez led the team in homers with 19. Ramirez also led the Pac-10 in runs batted in, driving home 75.
Kipnis, Ramirez and Leake were also named ABCA First Team All-West Region selections, while Josh Spence earned Second Team All-West Region honors.