⚾️ Voegele Wins Big 12 Freshman of the Year; Eight Jayhawks Receive Conference Honors

IRVING, Texas – True freshman Dominic Voegele was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and a total of eight Jayhawks received postseason conference baseball honors the league office announced Monday.

Jake English was voted to the All-Big 12 First Team, Reese Dutton, Kodey Shojinaga, and Voegele were selected to the All-Big 12 Second Team and Michael Brooks, Hunter Cranton, Ben Hartl and John Nett were awarded All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Voegele also was selected for the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.

"We are proud of all of the Big 12 awards our players received. We have worked hard to recruit the right players and develop them at a high level - but ultimately, it’s the players who commit to the development process. These guys are very deserving of the recognition."

Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald

Voegele, a true freshman who was a 2023 MLB Draft pick, had a monster freshman season. The right-handed pitcher from Columbia, Illinois, went 7-2 in the regular season with a 3.32 ERA in 76.0 innings pitched. He recorded 74 strikeouts compared to only 29 walks this season. Voegele tossed eight quality starts and allowed three earned runs or less in 12 of his 14 starts. He finished the regular season tied for third in the Big 12 in wins, tied for fifth in ERA, seventh in opponent batting average (.228) and tied for seventh in innings pitched. Against Big 12 competition, Voegele was 5-2 with a 3.60 ERA.

"I’m very proud of Dom. He is very deserving of the award, which is saying something given an incredibly talented Big 12 freshman class. Dom is incredibly mature and competes at a very high level. He’s an outstanding teammate and worker and will be the foundation of our rotation for the next two years. We are proud that we’ve had back-to-back Big 12 Freshman of the Year."

Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald

Kansas has been the home to the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in back-to-back seasons. Shojinaga was the Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Year in 2023 and now Voegele in 2024. Kansas never had a player win Big 12 Freshman of the Year prior to Shojinaga last season and now has won in back-to-back years. The last time a school had the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in consecutive seasons was Texas Tech in 2017 and 2018.

English, a four-year Jayhawk from Olathe, Kansas, was voted as the best catcher in the Big 12 this season as he earned All-Big 12 First Team honors. He hit 10 home runs a season ago and followed that up with 13 homers in 2024. English became the first Jayhawk in more than 15 years to hit double-digit home runs in consecutive seasons. He started 40 of 50 games behind the plate for a pitching staff that posted a team ERA of 4.68, more than 1.5 runs lower than last season. In Big 12 competition, English led the league with 28 walks, while he ranked second overall this season with 47 free passes.

"Jake had a huge year for us at the plate and behind the plate. He is an elite teammate and has shown incredible durability over the past two years. The Big 12 is loaded at the catcher position, so this award is very impressive. Jake’s production has been a massive piece of our success - equally important has been Jake’s attitude and leadership. He’s been an amazing Jayhawk."

Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald

Dutton, a fifth-year transfer from USC Upstate and Heartland Community College, took advantage of his opportunity to move up to the Power Five level and was the Friday night starter all season. The Kenosha, Wisconsin, native went 7-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 80.1 innings pitched this season. After suffering a loss in the season opener, Dutton rattled off six consecutive wins, which made him the first KU pitcher since 1994 to win six straight games. He had eight quality starts, received Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors once and was named Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Week twice.

Shojinaga, the reigning Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Year, had a strong sophomore campaign as he earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors as an infielder for a second consecutive season. He led the team in doubles in 2024 with 18 and ranked sixth in the conference with 72 hits. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Shojinaga was the second toughest to strikeout in the Big 12 this season with 10.8 at-bats per strikeout. Shojinaga was awarded Big 12 Co-Player of the Week following his performance the opening weekend of the season.

Brooks, a versatile player in his second year at KU, has produced an impressive season offensively while also playing multiple infield positions. The Wellington, Florida, native has slugged .612 this season and has an active 18-game hitting streak that raised his season batting average from .279 to .331. Brooks has spent time at both third base and second base, which includes a switch between positions based on the handedness of the hitter.

Cranton, a flame-thrower from Newport Beach, California, has transitioned into the closer role for the Jayhawks this season. Cranton led the pitching staff with 13.91 strikeouts/nine innings pitched. With a fastball in the upper 90s, Cranton has a strikeout in 18 of his 23 appearances this season. He did not allow an earned run through his first 11 appearances of the season.

Hartl, a junior transfer from Heartland Community College, proved to be a huge asset for the Jayhawks this season. Recruited as a catcher, Hartl started 28 games at first base in 2024. The Springfield, Illinois, native was second on the team with 10 home runs and with a .461 on-base percentage that included 15 hit by pitches, which ranked third in the conference. Hartl was known for his late game heroics this season as he had a walk-off RBI single against Texas Tech and a go-ahead ninth inning home run against Texas.

Nett, a transfer from Division II St. Cloud State, made the jump to the Division I level for his final year of eligibility. Nett hit in the leadoff spot for nearly the entire season and set the tone for the offense as he reached base safely in 47 of 50 games. The Appleton, Wisconsin, native had a 20-game hitting streak in the middle of the season where he hit .424 during the stretch. Nett started every game in center field this season and did not commit an error.

AWARDS + STATISTICS
RHP Dominic Voegele, Big 12 Freshman of the Year, All-Big 12 Second Team, Big 12 All-Freshman Team
Overall: 7-2, 3.32 ERA, 14 G, 14 GS, 76.0 IP, 29 BB, 74 SO in 14 starts
Conference: 5-2, 3.60 ERA, 10 G, 10 GS, 55.0 IP, 21 BB, 50 SO in 10 starts

C Jake English, All-Big 12 First Team
Overall: .324/.466/.614, 12 2B, 13 HR, 47 RBI, 51 R, 47 BB, 108 TB in 50 games (49 starts)
Conference: .327/.457/.561, 7 2B, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 29 R, 28 BB, 60 TB in 30 games (all starts)

RHP Reese Dutton, All-Big 12 Second Team
Overall: 7-4, 3.59 ERA, 14 G, 14 GS, 80.1 IP, 32 BB, 76 SO in 14 starts
Conference: 4-3, 4.03 ERA, 10 G, 10 GS, 60.1 IP, 22 BB, 55 SO in 10 starts

INF Kodey Shojinaga, All-Big 12 Second Team
Overall: .333/.400/.486, 18 2B, 5 HR, 43 RBI, 40 R, 23 BB, 20 SO in 50 games (all starts)
Conference: .317/.382/.413, 9 2B, 1 HR, 20 RBI, 20 R, 15 BB, 13 SO in 30 games (all starts)

INF Michael Brooks, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Overall: .331/.425/.612, 13 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 26 R, 23 BB, 22 SO in 37 games (all starts)
Conference: .324/.392/.577, 7 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 8 R, 7 BB, 9 SO in 18 games (all starts)

RHP Hunter Cranton, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Overall: 3-3, 2.45 ERA, 23 G, 22.0 IP, 9 BB, 34 SO, 6 SV in 23 appearances
Conference: 1-2, 2.92 ERA, 13 G, 12.1 IP, 2 BB, 23 SO, 5 SV in 13 appearances

C/1B Ben Hartl, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Overall: .304/.461/.607, 11 2B, 10 HR, 34 RBI, 34 R, 26 BB, 35 SO in 41 games (37 starts)
Conference: .269/.440/.505, 7 2B, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 21 R, 18 BB, 27 SO in 28 games (26 starts)

OF John Nett, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Overall: .357/.434/.531, 16 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 51 R, 28 BB, 34 SO, 9 SB in 50 games (all starts)
Conference: .339/.408/.449, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 27 R, 17 BB, 26 SO in 30 games (all starts)