In the midst of a historic junior season, Arizona’s JJ Matijevic deserves to be the conference player of the year, without question.
If you haven’t been following, the Arizona Baseball is having yet another solid season. A big part of their success can be attributed to the magnificent play of the Wildcats’ slugger, JJ Matijevic.
Matijevic is batting an eye-popping .397 from the plate (after Friday’s game with Cal) Along with that, he also has ten home runs, 63 RBIs, and 28 doubles (second most doubles in a season in Arizona Baseball history) this year. Those 28 doubles also lead the NCAA.
If that’s not impressive enough, JJ is also making plays with the glove at first base. His fielding percentage is .995, making only two errors all year, despite seeing the most action at the very busy first base.
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So what is there to debate? Well, with the Pac-12 voting, it’s never that easy, and despite our bias as Arizona fans, they don’t quite view it the same.
Perhaps the other most viable candidates are pretty much anyone from Oregon State. The Beavers are having an unbelievable season, and there have been a number of guys with a big part of that.
To us, however, the decision is obvious. While Arizona has quite a few good baseball players this season, without question JJ seems to be that leader and makes plays when needed.
The last Arizona player to win the PAC-12 Player of the Year Award in Baseball, was Scott Kingery in 2015. That season, Kingery batted .395, hitting five home runs, 36 RBI’s, and 15 doubles. Kingery currently plays for the Philadelphia Phillies’ MLB organization.
Matijevic leads the conference in nearly every major statistical batting category. Beyond that, his fielding has been pretty efficient despite not likely being a first baseman at the next level. He has made quite a few plays at first, and when called upon, he answers.
Like this remarkable extension to get the out at first…
WOW! Here’s more:
At Zona Zealots and among Arizona fans, of course, our opinion may be a bit biased, but JJ has shown he is a dynamic baseball player and one that clearly plays at an extremely high level. Without question, he should be the Player of the Year in the Conference, and his stats prove it! Bear Down, Arizona!