Liberty outfielder D.J. Artis(Southeast Guilford High School) has been named the 2017 Big South Player of the Year, as the Big South Conference announced its baseball awards and all-conference team…..
Selected by the conference’s coaches, Artis was also joined by first baseman Sammy Taormina and right-hander Evan Mitchell on the all-conference team. Artis and Taormina were placed on the first team, while Mitchell garnered second team honors. Catcher Matt Allen was named to the Big South All-Academic team.
Artis becomes the fourth Flames to be named Big South Player of the Year and the first since 2014. The sophomore outfielder joins infielder Ryan Seiz (2014), outfielder Keith Butler (2000) and infielder Jason Benham (1998) as Flames who have won the award.
Artis, who also earned all-conference first team honors for the second consecutive season, enters the week second in the nation with a .531 on base percentage and is the national leader in walks with 59. Artis has already eclipsed his own single-season program record of 52 walks, which he set last season. In addition, the sophomore paces the conference with a .360 batting average and 55 runs scored.
The 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year, Artis enters the 2017 Big South Baseball Championship among the conference leaders in hits (ninth – 63), RBI (fifth – 45), slugging percentage (fifth – .554), total bases (10th – 97) and second in stolen bases (second – 22). He has 12 doubles, two triples and six home runs on the season.
The Greensboro, N.C., native was named the Big South Player of the Week three times in 2017. He was tabbed the league’s Player of the Week for March 20, April 24 and May 1. Artis finished the year with 18 multi-hit games, of which nine were three-hit contests.