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  • Writer's pictureColin Shannon

Kurtz, Burns, Hartle Win Preseason Awards

Following a historic season and run to the Men's College World Series, Wake Forest is primed to make noise again this upcoming season. Perfect Game listed their preseason award predictions, with three Deacs being named First Team All-Americans. Nick Kurtz, Josh Hartle, and newcomer Chase Burns were all included on this prestigious list. Kurtz was also named the preseason National Player of the Year by Perfect Game. As far as conference awards go, the trio were preseason All-ACC nominations. Kurtz was named the preseason ACC Player of the Year and Burns the preseason ACC Pitcher of the Year.

Nick Kurtz is widely considered a top two pick in the upcoming MLB First Year Player's Draft, and is predicted to be the first overall pick in many, if not most of the mock drafts. Kurtz posted an impressive .353/.527/.784 slash line with an OPS of 1.311. He also tallied 24 home runs and 69 RBI. His production was missed in most of the CWS as he dealt with a rib injury stemming from the Super Regional series versus Alabama.

Josh Hartle, the former Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year is returning after an impressive season in which he was one of, if not the best number three pitcher in all of college baseball. On most teams Hartle would be the clear number one. Hartle went 11-2 with a 2.81 ERA, 1.124 WHIP, and a 140/24 strikeout-to-walk ratio, much improved from his freshman season. Hartle is a consensus first round pick in the upcoming draft.

Chase Burns made national headlines when he announced his transfer to Wake Forest from Tennessee this past offseason. Burns is coming off a year in which he regressed from his stellar freshman campaign in 2022. That being said, he was still one of the most electric pitchers in the country and widely feared by opponents when he took the mound. What made his commitment to Wake Forest so exciting was the potential of what he could be for the team under the leadership of pitching coach Corey Muscara. There's no doubt that the pitching lab will bring out the best in Burns this upcoming season. Burns is also a consensus first round pick, projected to go as high as number two behind Kurtz in some mock drafts.

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