June 8, 2012
OREM, Utah -- On Wednesday he was drafted by the Padres, on Thursday he was named a finalist for the top honor in college baseball and now on Friday Goose Kallunki has been named the District VIII Player of the Year by the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
It's been a whirlwind week for the Utah Valley University senior, who is also on his way to Arizona to begin his professional career. He was taken by the San Diego Padres in the 27th round of the 2012 MLB Draft on Wednesday after a monster senior season that landed the Orem native the Great West Conference Player of the Year award.
The NCBWA also named Kallunki among the final three candidates for the 2012 Dick Howser Trophy, regarded as the Heisman Trophy of college baseball. The winner will be announced on Friday, June 15, at an 10 a.m. (MT) national news conference at TD Ameritrade Park - the second-year home of the 66th annual NCAA World Series. Kallunki was also a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which goes to the top player in amateur baseball.
There are nine district players of the year representing different areas of the country. District VIII is comprised of Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyomimg.
Kallunki, who leads the nation with 86 RBIs and is in the top eight in six other categories, is the first Utah Valley University player to be named a first-team All-American as well as to make the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award lists.