May 4, 2012
Morales named a quarterfinalist for Brooks Wallace Award
Senior Johnny Morales is listed as one of the 50 finest DI shortstops

LUBBOCK, Texas - Virginia Tech’s Johnny Morales has been selected as one of 50 Division I shortstops named to the 2012 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award watch list, as announced by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions.

Morales is one of four ACC shortstops on the list, joined by Chris Diaz of NC State, Virginia’s Chris Taylor and Wake Forest’s Pat Blair. The Pac-12 and SEC lead the pack with seven players each.

Morales, a senior from Bellflower, Calif., came to Blacksburg just last year as a junior-college transfer from Cypress College. He has started and played every game for the Hokies since joining the team, a streak that has now reached 103 straight games.

Last season, however, Morales played at third base and made the switch to his natural shortstop position this season. His fielding versatility even helps Tech this season, as he makes a move to second in order to maximize the team’s chances of turning double plays.

“Of course, we look at all the statistics -- batting average, double, triples, home run, etc. -- when developing our watch lists, but for a shortstop award, fielding percentage has to be of huge importance,” said Kevin Dunagan, Wallace Award co-chair. “Each of these young men has compiled statistics that justify their place on this list.”

Morales’ numbers are evident of his abilities as middle infielder, improving his fielding percentage from last year by as much as 36 points - .927 at third in 2011 and .963 this year. His true fielding numbers this season include 78 putouts, 153 assists and just nine errors.

He has also adjusted at the plate as well in 2012, bettering almost all of his offensive numbers from a year ago, which includes a .285 average with 53 hits, 30 runs, 11 doubles and 34 RBI. He’s also among the nation’s leaders in toughest to strikeout, entering the week at 33rd in the country.

For a complete listing of the 2012 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award watch list, see the release at the following link:

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