NIU rookie one of 34 honorees
Northern Illinois designated hitter Jeff Zimmerman was chosen to the 2011 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman All-American Second Team, the organization announced Monday.
Last week, the Tinley Park, Ill., native became the ninth in program history to be named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, standing among 103 other first-year players on the list.
This week, Zimmerman joins a more esteemed list, as he is one of 34 freshmen around the country to be recognized by the NCBWA.
Overall, there were 16 First Team and 18 Second Team selections.
“It’s a tremendous honor for Jeff and Northern Illinois baseball to be in this select group,” said NIU head coach Ed Mathey, who has had four of the program’s nine Freshman All-Americans happen under his tenure. “This tells you what a great year he had. His presence in our lineup contributed to a successful season. We look forward to watching Jeff continue to play and improve over the next few years.”
Featuring players from 17 conferences and seven conference championship teams, Zimmerman is one of 14 conference Freshman of the Year winners on the NCBWA’s list. As was the case last week, he is the only representative from the Mid-American Conference.
The Victor J. Andrew High School product is the first player in NIU history to garner the accolade from the NCBWA, which was founded in 1962 in dedication to the advancement of college baseball.
In 56 games, the First Team All-MAC choice played a crucial role in NIU producing its fourth-highest win total (30) in program history. Zimmerman led the Huskies with 11 home runs and a .540 slugging percentage, tied for the team lead in RBI (47), and was second in batting average (.326). The freshman sensation also paced the club with 15 multi-RBI games. His homer and RBI totals rank at the top of the list for all-time freshman seasons at NIU. His 13 doubles rank second.
On the season, Zimmerman’s 11 long balls rank fourth on the NIU all-time single season list. Among the MAC, he ranked second in home runs, sixth in RBI and seventh in slugging percentage (.517). Around the country, as of June 7th, he ranks 69th in homers.
With his first Huskie campaign complete in fine fashion, Zimmerman is currently playing with the Hannibal Cavemen in the Prospect League, a summer collegiate wooden bat league. He is joined by teammates Jake Hermsen and Trey Lang in Hannibal, Mo., as the trio is developing and already preparing for the 2012 season.