Three Historically Black College and University (HBCU) baseball participants are among the nominees for the 2017 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Freshman All-American Team. Only freshmen, but these three first-year contributors have grasped major roles for the baseball teams they play on.
The three candidates for All-America honors are Alabama State University’s Cage Cox, North Carolina Central University’s Corey Joyce and Jackson State University’s Wesley Reyes. Each is considered a major building block for their teams going into the 2018 season.
Designated Hitter Cage Cox, Alabama State University
One of the best true freshman collegiate baseball designated hitters in the country. Led all freshmen across the nation in 8 of 12 offensive statistical categories. Cox finished the season ranked fifth in the SWAC in batting average (.356) and for the entire season hit .350. In 52 games, Cox scored 53 runs, had 75 hits, with 17 doubles, 2 triples and 7 home runs. He also drove in 45 runs, walked 20 times and was 4 for 4 in stolen base attempts. Cox was a key offensive weapon for the Hornets.
2B Corey Joyce, North Carolina Central University
In his first collegiate season, Joyce led NCCU with a .513 slugging percentage. His numbers for the year… in 46 games, Joyce had a .344 batting average scoring 34 runs with 65 hits, 11 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs and 43 runs batted in. Corey Joyce also accumulated 20 walks and was 5 of 8 in stolen base attempts. The two-time MEAC Rookie of the Week award winner had a .943 fielding percentage with 86 putouts and 18 double plays in the infield.
2B Wesley Reyes, Jackson State University
Stepping right in as a key part of a strong Tiger explosive offense, Reyes made consistent hard contact driving the ball into the gaps deep into the outfield which accounted for 31 runs batted in his first year. His output for the year… a .299 batting average in 55 games and 187 at bats with 56 hits, 10 doubles, 2 triples. Hitting kept him in at second base from day one.
The final NCBWA Division I Freshman All-American Team will be announced on June 12, 2017.