In what’s maybe the least surprising news you’ll see all summer, LSU’s Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews were named the SEC’s pitcher and player of the year.
Crews repeats as the league’s player of the year, making him the first person in SEC history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. He has 14 home runs, 13 doubles and 57 RBI. Crews also leads the league-leader in on base percentage (.573), runs scored (79) and walks (56). Crews was also named to the SEC’s All-Defensive team.
Skenes will only be a Tiger for one season, but he’s certainly making the most of it. Skenes leads the SEC in just about every major pitching category there is including wins (10), strikeouts (164), ERA (1.77), innings pitched (86.2), and opposing batting average (.161). He’s the first Tiger to win the SEC pitcher of the year award since Aaron Nola won it in both 2013 and 2014.
Skenes’ 164 Ks is second all-time in an LSU single season, trailing only Ben McDonald’s 202 in 1989. If LSU makes a deep enough run in the postseason, Skenes might be able to tie or break the record.
One team winning the player and pitcher of the year award in the same season is rare. In fact it’s only the third time it’s happened, joining Florida in 2018 and Georgia in 2008. If it’s not obvious yet, these two should go 1 and 2 in this summer’s MLB Draft, so get your Pittsburgh Pirate and Washington National gear now.
Skenes and Crews weren’t the only Tigers recognized by the SEC. Tommy White joined Crews and Skenes as a first-team All-SEC selection, while Bear Jones made the All-Freshman team.
LSU’s postseason journey begins Wednesday at 9:30 A.M. (gross) in Hoover at the SEC Tournament. LSU will be the tournament’s No. 3 seed, and will play the winner of Georgia-South Carolina.