Jake Adams is the Big Ten Player of the Year, Iowa’s first since Brett Backlund won the award in 1992, and it wasn’t even close - he won the award unanimously. He was also unanimously named first-team All-Big Ten.
Adams was at the top of many offensive categories in the Big Ten, leading the league in home runs (24) RBIs (65), hits (73), slugging percentage (a whopping .750!!) and total bases (159). The junior from Brandon, South Dakota is also in the top ten in numerous other categories, including fourth in batting average (.344), ninth in on-base percentage (.427), second in runs scored (48), and eighth in doubles (14). He’s been an absolute monster in his first year of Big Ten play after transferring from DMACC and will go down as one of the best hitters to ever put on a Hawkeye uniform after he broke the school’s single-season home run record by two home runs.
The Hawkeyes also had four players named second-team All-Big Ten this year - Mason McCoy, Tyler Cropley, Nick Gallagher, and Robert Neustrom all carved out a spot on the team after impressive 2017 campaigns.
Mason McCoy finally broke through to make an All-Big Ten team in his final year as a Hawkeye, leading the league in runs scored (49) and ranking second in doubles (16) and third in hits (72). It’s been an illustrious career for McCoy, who’s been a fan favorite at Iowa for the past few years, especially so after his game-winning hit against Ohio State in the 2016 Big Ten Tournament.
More impressively, probably, is that McCoy’s selection makes it four consecutive years under Rick Heller that the Hawks have had an All-Big Ten shortstop - Jake Yacinich was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2014 and Nick Roscetti earned third team honors in 2015 and first-team honors in 2016.
Nick Gallagher was the rock at the top of an Iowa rotation that struggled to find consistency behind him - he was 8-1 on the year with a 2.59 ERA. He pitched 831⁄3 innings on the year, almost recording a strikeout per inning with his 77 strikeouts.
Tyler Cropley became Iowa’s first catcher since 2011 to earn All-Big Ten honors as he hit .256 on the year with six home runs and 31 RBI. After struggling to start off the season, the junior made an impressive leap in Big Ten play, where he went on to hit .302 with four home runs and 17 RBI. He also led the league in throwing out base-stealers, throwing out 17 on the season and 10 in Big Ten play.
Last but not least, Robert Neustrom earned his second-team honors after leading the Big Ten in hits (73) and fnishing third in RBIs (53). While the sophomore right fielder struggled towards the end of the season, he found his groove once again at the end of Big Ten play when he hit a towering walk-off home run against Ohio State to clinch a Big Ten Tournament berth for the Hawkeyes. He was second on the team with a .329 average and eight home runs.