Cal Poly baseball’s standout sophomores Brooks Lee and Drew Thorpe were awarded Big West conference honors on Thursday, with Lee winning Field Player of the Year and Thorpe winning Pitcher of the Year.
For Lee, this is his second consecutive season being awarded the Field Player of the Year. He is the sixth Mustang to be awarded the honor. Lee has also been named an All-American by Collegiate Baseball and a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, which is given to the nation’s top shortstop.
In his final season with the program, Lee dominated at the plate once again. He finished the season with a .357 batting average with 25 doubles, 15 home runs and 55 RBIs. In the field, Lee compiled an impressive .951 fielding percentage. Lee also produced hitting streaks of 19 and 12 games and led Cal Poly with 26 multi-hit games and 16 multi-RBI performances.
Across the entire Big West, Lee led the conference in hits (84), walks (46), doubles (25), home runs (15), runs scored (56), RBIs (55), slugging percentage (.664) and total bases (156). He was second in both batting average (.357) and on-base percentage (.462).
As for Thorpe, he became the first pitcher in program history to be named Pitcher of the Year. He has also been named one of five finalists for the National Pitcher of the Year Award.
In his breakout season, Thorpe compiled a 10-1 record with a 2.32 ERA, having 14 quality starts over his 15 starts during the season. He is the first 10-game winner for Cal Poly since Casey Bloomquist (12) and Matt Imhof (10) in 2014.
Thorpe’s dominance was on full display this season after racking up 149 strikeouts over 104 ⅔ innings. His 149 strikeouts led the nation to end the collegiate regular season. The right-hander delivered nine double-digit strikeout outings to surpass the program’s single-season strikeout record.
Lee and Thorpe are both expected to be selected in the first round of this year’s MLB Draft. The two are also semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award, which is given to the best college player in the nation.
Alongside the two sophomores, three Mustangs joined them on the Big West first team and two others were named to the second team.
Freshman catcher Ryan Stafford was named to the Big West first team after hitting .321 with 16 doubles, three home runs and 33 RBIs. He led the conference with six sacrifice flies and was second in hits (79). Behind the dish, Stafford threw out 11 runners attempting to steal and picked off four other base runners.
Sophomore first baseman Joe Yorke was also named to the first team. He was second on the team in batting average (.353) and RBIs (51). Yorke also tallied 79 hits, 13 doubles and four home runs. During the season, he collected a 20-game hitting streak, including two five-hit games in a four-game span.
Rounding out the Mustangs on the first team is senior closer Jason Franks, who closed out 11 games for the team, the most since 2017. He struck out 69 hitters over 54 innings and walked just 22. Opponents hit a mere .228 against him.
Sophomore second baseman Nick Marinconz’s late-season surge placed him on the Big West second team. He finished with a .309 average with 10 doubles and 16 RBIs.
Junior left fielder Collin Villegas finished off the Cal Poly players who received conference honors. He hit .290 with 20 doubles, four home runs and 40 RBIs to place him on the second team.
Cal Poly led all Big West teams with five players selected for the all-conference first-team. UC Santa Barbara followed with four.