Booker Earns 1st-Team All-Region Honors

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior Joel Booker has been named an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings first-team All-Mideast Region selection, it was announced Wednesday by the organization.

The Columbus, North Carolina, native was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior, hitting a team-best .370 and his 87 hits were tops on the team, tied for most in the Big Ten Conference, and tied for the second-most all-time in school history.

The outfielder had 26 extra base hits (19 doubles, two triples, five home runs) on the year, while scoring 47 runs and driving in 37. He was also 23-of-25 on the base paths — the third-most steals in the Big Ten. Booker started every game and tallied a team-leading 26 multi-hit games on the season.

Booker’s senior surge led to him being named a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Breakout Player of the Year Award and he capped off his career with a Big Ten Tournament All-Tournament team selection. He was selected in the 22nd round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last weekend by the Chicago White Sox.

In 2016, Booker helped the Hawkeyes to a 30-26 overall record — the program’s third straight 30-win season. Iowa advanced to the Big Ten Tournament title game as the No. 8 seed; it was the program’s first championship game appearance since 2010.

Iowa has been recognized with an ABCA All-Region selection in each of the past three seasons. Jake Yacinich and Jake Mangler were first-team honorees in 2014 and Blake Hickman was a second-team selection last season.

Booker’s first-team all-region nod means he will now be nominated for ABCA/Rawlings All-America honors, which will be announced Saturday.