Nevada's Howell Named NCBWA District VIII Player of the Year

DALLAS - University of Nevada junior Ryan Howell has been named 2015 District VIII Player of the Year, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced on Friday. The second baseman from Brentwood, California is one of 10 players in the nation to earn district player of the year honors.


In his first season at Nevada after transferring from Chabot College, Howell had a prolific season and proved to be one of the top sluggers in the nation. Howell started in all 56 games and hit .312 with 67 hits, 54 runs, 65 RBI, 14 doubles and 17 home runs. The 6-foot-2 power hitter’s 17 homers ranked tied for seventh in program history while his 65 RBI ranked 12th in Nevada’s record books.


Howell led the Mountain West in home runs, total bases and sacrifice flies, ranked second in RBIs and slugging percentage, and also ranked in the top 10 in runs, walks, hit by pitch and hits. Howell ranked sixth in Division I in home runs and 15th in runs batted in.


Howell’s district player of the year title adds to a significant list of individual accolades. Recently, he was also named first team All-Mountain West, third team Louisville Slugger All-American and a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.


Howell is in elite company, joining Lehigh’s Mike Garzillo (District I), Canisius’ Connor Panas (District II), Vanderbilt’s Dansby Swanson and Carson Fulmer (District III), Maryland’s Mike Shawaryn (District IV), Illinois’ Tyler Jay (District V), Oklahoma State’s Michael Freeman (District VI), Arkansas’ Andrew Benintendi (District VII) and UCLA’s David Berg (District IX) as district players of the year.


Howell is the eighth player from the Mountain West to be named district player of the year, joining BYU's Brandon Taylor (2005), Utah's Ryan Khoury (2006), New Mexico's Jordan Pacheco (2007), UNLV's Xavier Scruggs (2008), San Diego State's Stephen Strasburg (2008-09), Utah's C.J. Cron (2010-11), New Mexico's DJ Peterson (2013) and New Mexico's Chase Harris (2014).