Illini slugger Spillane wins National Player of Year


CHAMPAIGN -- Bren Spillane's historic season has officially become Historic -- capital 'H'.

Illinois baseball dates back to 1879, when the program didn't even have a coach. But the junior from Wheeling, Ill. just did something that no one has done reaching back to each of those 14 decades: win a national player of the year award.

Spillane earned such honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper after leading the nation in slugging percentage, OPS, home runs per game and ranking as the only player in the country to hit 20 or more home runs with 15 or more steals.

Courtesy of Illini baseball sports information led by Brett Moore, here is an extensive taste of Spillane's ridiculousness this season:

  • 2018 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Year
  • 2018 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper All-America first team
  • 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year
  • 2018 Big Ten regular season triple crown (.407, 22 HR, 57 RBIs)
  • Illinois single-season ranks include second in slugging (.903), second in home runs (23), second in Big Ten home runs (10), tied for fourth in total bases (158), tied for fourth in Big Ten total bases (67) and fifth in on-base percentage (.498)
  • First player in Division I to slug over .900 for a season since 2009 (Bryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee State, .930)
  • First Power 5 player to lead the nation at over .900 since Pat Burrell slugged .948 for Miami (Fla.) in 1996
  • No. 2 in Big Ten history in season slugging percentage (Darrin Fletcher, Illinois, 1987, .913)
  • No. 1 in Illinois history in career slugging percentage (.723)
  • 2018 Midseason National Player of the Year (4/5/18)
  • 2018 Perfect Game/Rawlings Midseason National Player of the Year (4/4/18)
  • First player in conference history to win three straight Big Ten Player of the Week awards (3/19-4/2/18)
  • First player in Illinois history to win national player of the week honors twice
  • NCBWA National Player of the Week (3/27/18)
  • National Player of the Week (3/26/18)
  • Back-to-back Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Players of the Week (3/26/18, 4/2/18)
  • Player of the Day after eight-RBI game vs. CSUN (3/21/18)
  • Three-homer game at Southern Illinois (3/17/18)
  • Dike Eddleman Male Athlete of the Year finalist (Illinois athlete of the year award)
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