Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Diggins Named One of 12 Smith Award Semifinalists :: <!--REPLACE WITH STORY TITLE TEASER--> Diggins Named One of 12 Smith Award Semifinalists

TUCSON, Ariz.-Sophomore right-hander/designated hitter Ben Diggins has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2000 Rotary Smith Award, recognizing the best player in college baseball.

Diggins is 9-4, 3.52, on the mound and is batting .347-9-34. He is the only one of the 12 semifinalists who has seen significant time as both a pitcher and hitter and is one of only two sophomores on the list.

Diggins, rated the top collegiate draft prospect in Baseball America's midseason collegiate update, is attempting to become just the second player in Pac-10 history to win 10 games and hit 10 home runs in the same season. He is only the fourth Arizona pitcher in the last 30 years to strike out at least 120 batters in a season. Diggins joins Jason Hendricks (1998) as the only Wildcats to be named a semifinalist for the Smith Award. The award, now in its 13th year, is voted on by baseball sports information directors. It is a national project of the Rotary Club of Houston and raises money for Rotary national charities, the Texas Children's Hospital and the Karl Young League.

SIDs will vote for three finalists over the next month, and the winner will be announced June 19.

Player             School           Pos.    Year
Kip Boutknight     South Carolina   RHP     Jr.
Taggart Bozied     San Francisco    1B      Jr.
Brad Cresse        LSU              C       Sr.
Kyle Crowell       Houston          RHP     Jr.
Ben Diggins        Arizona          P/1B    Jr.
Todd Faulkner      Auburn           1B      Jr.
Tyrell Godwin      North Carolina   OF      Jr.
Gabe Gross         Auburn           OF      So.
Mitch Jones        Arizona State    OF      Sr.
Xavier Nady        California       3B      Jr.
Mark Teixeira      Georgia Tech     3B      So.
Justin Wayne       Stanford         RHP     Jr.