For the first time since 1990, when the program had five honored, Iowa baseball has three players who garnered first-team all-Big Ten honors after Nick Allgeyer, Tyler Cropley, and Robert Neustrom all earned their selections in 2018. Chris Whelan, who missed a good portion of the season after having Tommy John surgery over the offseason, was a third-team selection.
Probably most impressive of the all-Big Ten selections for the Hawkeyes was none other than Nick Allgeyer, who time and again dominated for Iowa this season. Allgeyer, who missed the entire 2017 season because of Tommy John surgery, made one start over 32 appearances in 2015 and ‘16 before becoming Iowa’s Friday starter this season, and he contributed in a huge way. Over 14 starts, the lefty pitched to a 2.50 ERA while accumulating a 5-4 record. Through 90 innings, he’s struck out 86 batters while walking only 25 and opponents hit just .240 off him. He’s been truly dominant for Iowa each and every Friday, and he definitely earned this spot after breaking out in 2018.
Tyler Cropley was able to improve on his second-team honors in 2017, as the senior and second-year Hawkeye coasted to first-team honors and is a Johnny Bench award finalist this year. After hitting .268 with 9 HR and 36 RBI in 2017, Cropley led the Hawks with a .351 average while hitting 20 2B, 9 HR, and knocking in 50 runs in the 2018 regular season. Probably more importantly than all of his offensive stats, Cropley has been a rock for this year’s pitching staff despite all the turnover from last year’s Big Ten Tournament run.
Robert Neustrom was also able to improve upon last year’s second-team all-Big Ten honors, as the junior improved across the board for the third consecutive season. Neustrom hit .322 with 15 doubles, 15 HR, and 36 RBI while starting 51 games for Iowa. He’s the first Iowa outfielder to earn first-team honors since Joel Booker in 2016 and has solidified his position as a (relatively) early draft pick if he chooses to go pro after this season.
Last, but not least, Chris Whelan was named to the Big Ten’s third-team despite missing the first 14 games of the season after his aforementioned surgery. In 36 games for the Hawkeyes this year, most as designated hitter, Whelan hit .315 with four homers and 10 RBI, and finished third on the team in hits with 47.
Congrats to these guys on earning all-Big Ten selections, and good luck in the Big Ten Tournament this week!