COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Ranking near the top of most offensive categories in the nation, sophomore Chandler Jenkins of Catawba Valley (NC) has been named the 2017 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) NJCAA Division I Baseball Player of the Year, announced by the Division II Baseball Committee Wednesday.
Jenkins, a sophomore outfielder, was tabbed as the Region 10 Player of the Year as well after hitting.460 on the year with 18 home runs and 74 RBI. Jenkins’ .868 slugging percentage ranked fourth in the nation.
“It is truly an honor to receive this award,” Jenkins stated. “There are so many great baseball players in our division and to have been named Player of the Year is truly a blessing. I have to thank God, my coaches, my teammates, my family and everyone who supported me along the way. My time at CVCC have been the best two years of my life so far. It was a second chance for me and I can’t thank coach Rozzelle, coach McDonald, and coach Harvey enough. They helped me grow as a player, a person, and a Christian. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
A consistent threat at the plate, Jenkins boasted two separate hitting streaks of at least 10 games on the year, including a 15-game streak to start the season. The Lincolnton, NC native recorded 26 games with at least two hits, including a 5-6 performance with two home runs on March 10.
The Red Hawks finished the season 31-25 overall and won 10 of their final 13 games of the season, a stretch that saw Jenkins collect 17 hits, including nine extra base knocks.
Jenkins’ work ethic was evident after upping his batting average by more than 200 points from his freshman season a year ago.
Catawba Valley head coach Paul Rozzelle noted Jenkins’ ability to battle back from an injury in 2016. “Chandler is the epitome of perseverance,” Rozzelle stated. “After battling back from an injury last season, he chose to continue to put in the work and came out this year and never stopped hitting. An ultimate competitor that plays with his hear on his sleeve. This accomplishment is an indication of his work, his fight, and his resolve to accomplish his dreams. We as a school are so proud of him for this accomplishment. Chandler is a special young man that we were fortunate to have the last three years.”
Jenkins, who signed with East Carolina University in April, graduated from Catawba Valley with an Associate of Arts degree. Jenkins will major in communications at East Carolina. “CVCC will always feel like home to me and I will always be a Red hawk. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me at East Carolina.”
Click here for list of past ABCA Player of the Year winners.
About the ABCA
The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 8,000 members represent all 50 states and 25 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth. The 74th annual ABCA Convention will be held Jan. 4-7, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.