OMAHA, Neb. – LSU All-American pitcher Paul Skenes was named Thursday as the winner of the 2023 Dick Howser Trophy, given annually to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I baseball.
Skenes joins LSU All-American first baseman Eddy Furniss – the 1998 winner of the Dick Howser Trophy – as the second Tiger to capture the nation’s top collegiate baseball award.
The Dick Howser Trophy not only honors a player with some of the best ability nationally, but it also is based upon the tenets of leadership, moral character and courage. The top draft choices for the upcoming Major League Baseball free agent draft usually are among the Howser Trophy finalists, but this is not a criterion for the eventual winner.
“Paul Skenes certainly is deserving of the 2023 Dick Howser Trophy,” Howser Trophy chairman David Feaster said. “He has established himself as head and shoulders above any pitcher in NCAA Division I this season as well as a team leader and community service champion. His tremendous talent also has helped LSU make the NCAA World Series field for the 19th time overall and the first time since 2017.”
Skenes, a junior from Lake Forest, Calif., leads the SEC in wins (12), strikeouts (188), earned run average (1.77), innings pitched (107.0) and opponent batting average (.170) He is ranked No. 2 on LSU’s all-time single-season strikeouts list, trailing only Ben McDonald, who recorded 202 strikeouts in 1989.
Skenes, Collegiate Baseball’s 2023 National Player of the Year and the 2023 SEC Pitcher of the Year, is No. 1 in the nation in strikeouts (188), strikeouts per nine innings (15.81) and WHIP (0.78), and he is No. 2 in the nation in ERA (1.77). He is No.3 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (10.44), and No. 6 in hits allowed per nine innings (5.47).
He has pledged $10 for every strikeout he records this season to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of military and first responders who have died or been disabled.
A Florida native, Dick Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State (1957-58), then head coach of the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a Major League player and coach.
After one year in the college ranks, he returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser, who died in 1987 after a battle with cancer.