Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | Hawk Talk Monthly — February | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2018-19
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Three University of Iowa baseball players — senior Cole McDonald, senior Chris Whelan, and sophomore Jack Dreyer — have been named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List, the conference announced Wednesday.
McDonald, a right-handed pitcher from New Hampton, Iowa, went 3-2 over 11 starts last season with a 3.23 ERA. He allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his 11 starts and went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in conference play. One of Iowa’s four team captains, McDonald is slated to be Iowa’s Friday night starter.
Whelan hit .308 with 36 runs as a junior from the leadoff spot to earn third-team All-Big Ten status a season ago. The Naperville, Illinois, native started 38 games — 27 as the designated hitter, five in left field, and six at first base – and scored at least one run in 23 contests. Whelan is one of Iowa’s four team captains.
Dreyer, a left-handed pitcher from Johnston, Iowa, went 5-2 with a 3.69 ERA in 14 appearances and four starts last season. In 31 2/3 innings, he struck out 42 batters to only 15 walks as a freshman. As a starter, Dreyer went 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA, striking out 24 batters in 18 1/3 innings.
Minnesota was picked to finish first in the preseason coaches’ poll, followed by Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, and Nebraska and Purdue who were tied for sixth. Only the top six were released.
The Hawkeyes open the 2019 season Feb. 15 in Kissimmee, Florida, for the Diamond 9 Sunshine State Classic Series, where they will face George Mason in the regular-season opener.