Kevin Kopps is not of this world, but in the SEC (as usual) with an Arkansas player that only gets you halfway to being top player in the league.
The right-handed reliever was named Collegiate Baseball Newspaper national player of the week as well as the SEC co-pitcher of the week on Monday after helping lead the top-ranked Hogs to a series win at South Carolina.
The SEC probably has some sort of answer that by having a co-whatever recognizes more players all that does really is water down the award.
You would think the Southeastern Conference would be a little above the participation trophy sort of recognition. Players are either the best … or they aren’t.
Matt Goodheart is the only Hogs baseball player this year to not have to share the honors and that was when he was named the player of the week back at the end of March.
In college baseball, especially the SEC, Kopps is the best pitcher and second place the last couple of weeks really hasn’t been able to be in the same discussion.
Kopps struck out 12 of the 15 batters he faced in two relief appearances during the series. He picked up a save, his fifth of the season, in the 6-1 series-opening win on Thursday, striking out six in three perfect innings.
The reliver then punched out all six in his two-inning appearance in the series finale, locking down the series win in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader.
Kopps threw 43 of his 59 pitches for strikes in the series, generating 21 swings-and-misses while not allowing a single baserunner.
He has a ridiculous 0.97 ERA in 37.0 innings pitched, striking out 66 batters this season.
He is the second Arkansas student-athlete to earn a national weekly award this year. Matt Goodheart took home honors from both CB Newspaper and Perfect Game/Rawlings one week ago.
Five Hogs, meanwhile, have earned weekly honors from the conference this season.
Kopps joins pitcher Caleb Bolden (co-pitcher of the week, Feb. 23), catcher Casey Opitz (co-player of the Week, March 22), Goodheart (player of the week, March 29) and outfielder Cayden Wallace (co-freshman of the Week, April 12 and 19) as Arkansas’ recipients.
Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.