After finishing at the bottom of the ACC in 2014, Patrick Mason and the Virginia Tech Hokies were looking to bounce back in the 2015 season. Entering this season, expectations were high for the Hokies’ offense, especially after Brendon Hayden and Sean Keselica both decided to stay at Virginia Tech instead of going to the minor leagues after being selected late in the 2014 MLB Draft.
The Hokies saw their offense have some very impressive performances, which led to two players being named to All-ACC teams including one to the All-ACC First Team.
Senior first baseman Brendon Hayden was named to the All-ACC First Team, while redshirt sophomore center fielder Saige Jenco was named to the All-ACC Third Team. This was the first time the Hokies had multiple players named to the All-ACC teams since 2013 after only Mark Zagunis earned All-ACC honors last season.
Hayden’s decision to return to Virginia Tech paid off as he became the fifth Hokie to earn All-ACC First Team honors, joining Austin Wates, Andrew Rash, Chad Pinder, and Tyler Horan. Hayden’s strong senior season likely will give him a chance to be picked in the seventh to tenth rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft where many of the top seniors will be selected.
Hayden was the Hokies’ star cleanup hitter with 11 home runs, 51 RBIs, 17 doubles, a .314 batting average, and a slugging percentage of .556. Hayden was consistent for the Hokies throughout the season with some big moments including a walk-off home run against Boston College on Senior Day.
Hayden will be missed in the cleanup spot for the Hokies, especially since the most home runs hit by a player who will be returning is three by Saige Jenco. Hayden made the right decision to return to Blacksburg and his selection to the All-ACC First Team is validation of that.
After being snubbed from last year’s All-ACC teams, Saige Jenco received the recognition he deserved with a selection to the All-ACC Third Team. Jenco’s future seems to be fairly bright though that may mean he will only have one more season in Blacksburg with Jenco having the potential to go in the first five to six rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft with another strong season.
Jenco did have a slump at the plate at one point in the season, but was a very good cleanup hitter and table setter with a .323 batting average, 3 home runs, 26 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts. Jenco also was excellent defensively with only one error and two outfield assists in 53 games.
With the talent Jenco has, expect him to continue to get better and don’t be surprised if he ends up becoming the sixth Hokie to earn a spot on the All-ACC First Team next season.
Congrats to Brendon Hayden and Saige Jenco on being named to the All-ACC first and third teams respectively.