Alabama State was selected to repeat as SWAC East division champions and two Hornets were tabbed for major preseason baseball honors.
The Hornets starter Joseph Camacho earned pitcher of the year honors, while designated hitter Waldyvan Estrada was named player of the year. Prairie View A&M’s Cody Den Beste was named defensive player of the year.
Alabama A&M placed the most on preseason teams at five. Alabama State and Texas Southern each placed four.
In the east division, Alabama State earned first place with a commanding 76 points and 12 first place votes. Reigning SWAC champion Jackson State just edged out Alabama A&M for second place. The programs finished with 55 and 54 points, respectively.
The top three places in the west were separated by only five points. Texas Southern earned eight first place votes and 59 points to beat out Prairie View for the top spot.
PVAMU finished just one point behind the Tigers at 58 points, respectively, picking up three first place votes. Reigning west division champion Arkansas- Pine Bluff rounded out the top three with 54 points and two first place votes.
Player of the Year – Waldyvan Estrada (Alabama State)
Estrada started 56 games last season and hit .347 with six home runs and 60 RBI. He had 31 multi-hit games and 20 multi-RBI games last year. Estrada finished first in the SWAC in RBI, third in runs scored, fourth in total bases, and fifth in on-base percentage and home runs.
Pitcher of the Year – Joseph Camacho (Alabama State)
Camacho finished 2014 with a 10-1 record and 2.34 ERA. He appeared in 14 games with 13 starts and three complete games. Named 2014 SWAC Pitcher of the Year, Camacho led the league in wins, was third in strikeouts, tied for fourth in runners picked off, and fifth in strikeouts.
Defensive Player of the Year – Cody Den Beste (Prairie View A&M)
Named 2014 SWAC Freshman of the Year, Den Beste was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. He hit .309, had a slugging percentage of .449, and earned an on-base percentage of .434. Den Beste also committed just two errors in 112 chances last year.