Connor Justus named Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist

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Former Cartersville and current Georgia Tech junior shortstop Connor Justus was named Friday as a semifinalist for the 2016 Dick Howser Trophy, an award given to the top player in college baseball.

Justus is the fifth Georgia Tech player to be named a Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist or finalist. Previous winners from Georgia Tech include Jason Varitek in 1994 and Mark Teixeira in 2000.

Justus is one of 43 semifinalists and one of a nation-leading 13 semifinalists from the ACC.

Justus, considered one of the top shortstops in the country, is enjoying his best season as a Yellow Jacket in 2016. He is batting a career-best .345 with six home runs, 54 runs scored and 36 RBIs. He is tied for the team lead in steals with nine and has made 92 consecutive starts at shortstop for the Jackets. Most impressive, the Jackets’ leadoff hitter holds a .462 on-base percentage, which is good for 87th in the country.

This is the 30th year of the Dick Howser Trophy. The finalists will be announced on June 9. The 2016 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, the home of the College World Series for the sixth year.

The winner will be unveiled on MLB Network on June 17, and then a press conference with the winner will be held on June 18 on the opening day of the 2016 CWS.

The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager, who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.

—Information from this report was provided by Georgia Tech.