Ben Heath Named PING!Baseball Second Team All-American
June 12, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The awards and accolades continue to roll in for Penn State junior catcher Ben Heath (Huntersville, N.C.), who was named a PING!Baseball Second Team All-American on Friday. It already marks Heath's second All-America honor, along with Louisville Slugger Second Team All-America laurels announced last week. The Houston Astros' fifth round draft pick finished a remarkable junior campaign with a school-record 19 home runs along with 57 RBI and a .369 batting average.
The honor rounds out a memorable week for Heath, who was selected by the Astros in the fifth round (#153 overall) of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday. In the process, he became the Nittany Lions' highest position player chosen since Greg Vogel in 1976 and the highest for an underclassman in school history.
Penn State's first All-American since 2002, Heath is one of only five Big Ten players named a PING!Baseball All-American, joining Alex Wimmers (Ohio State), Alex Dickerson (Indiana), Michael Kvasnicka (Minnesota) and Paul Snieder (Northwestern).
Heath's breakout campaign included leading the team in most every statistical category: average (.369), home runs (19), RBI (57), runs scored (53), doubles (16), extra-base hits (36), total bases (148) and slugging percentage (.747).
On May 14, Heath hit his 18th home run of the season off Minnesota ace and San Francisco Giants' fourth round pick Seth Rosin to break the 32-year Penn State single-season mark held by Dave Simononis, this coming in his first at-bat at the historic Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Overall, Heath homered against three Big Ten aces, all who were selected on Tuesday. Along with Rosin, Alan Oaks (Michigan) was an eighth round pick by the Florida Marlins while Matt Bischoff (Purdue) went in the 20th round to the Seattle Mariners.
Other honors for Heath include being named First Team All-Big Ten and a Dick Howser Trophy and Johnny Bench Award semifinalist. Only 25 players in the nation were named a Howser semifinalist while 16 cracked the Bench list.
One of the nation's top performers this season, Heath is one of only two players - along with Miami's Yasmani Grandal - named an All-American, Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist and Johnny Bench Award semifinalist. Grandal was drafted 12th overall by the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night. The Howser Trophy, the "Heisman Trophy" of baseball, is presented to the top player in the country.
In 24 Big Ten games, Heath batted .400 with an incredible 1.306 OPS (.495 on-base percentage and .811 slugging percentage). He also posted a 19-game hitting streak, tied for fourth in school history, while reaching base safely in a team-high 26 straight games. In total, he reached base in 49 of his 51 games, including all 24 in conference play.
Baseball camp information is now available. Call the Sports Camp Office at (814) 865-0561 or email them at SportCampInfo@outreach.psu.edu for more information.
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