KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Just a week afer claiming his first Gold Glove Award, former Vol and current San Diego Padres Chase Headley was honored for his efforts at the plate, winning the 2012 Louisville Slugger Award for National League third basemen.
Also a finalist for the NL MVP Award alongside Ryan Braun, Buster Posey, Andrew McCutchen and Yadier Molina, Headley is the second former Vol to be named a Silver Slugger, joining Todd Helton who won four as the Colorado Rockies first baseman from 2000-03.
The Fountain, Colo., native established himself as one of the top all-around players in the National League this season, finishing with a .286 batting average, 31 home runs and 115 RBIs, which led the Senior Circuit. Headley also reached safely in 146 games this season, which tied for the sixth-most for any NL player since 1962, and was tabbed the NL Player of the Month in both August and September.
The 28-year-old led all Major League third basemen with 159 starts at the corner in 2012, the third-most starts at any position among National Leaguers. His 1,397.0 innings at third base led all of Major League Baseball. He committed just 10 errors in 424 total chances, the most total chances among all NL third basemen, for a .976 fielding percentage, second-best in the Majors among qualifying third basemen.
Headley has also been nominated for the 2012 GIBBY Award for “Breakout Hitter of the Year,” which will presented at the MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards extravaganza during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The National League MVP Award will be announced on Nov. 15.
Headley played at Tennessee from 2004-05, helping lead the Vols to the College World Series in his final year at Rocky Top. At UT, he hit .357 with 16 home runs and 88 RBIs in 110 career games. As a junior, he earned third-team All-America honors after winning the SEC batting title by hitting .387. He also led the league in walks (63), runs scored (82) and on-base percentage (.530).
His work in the classroom did not go unnoticed either as he became just the fifth Tennessee baseball player to earn first-team Academic All-America accolades.