DURHAM, N.C. – Sophomore infielder Chris Crabtree and senior right-handed pitcher Hunter Davis shared the Duke baseball program’s 2018 Omaha Award, an honor that recognizes the best all-around athlete on the team. The award celebrates a wide variety of athletic factors with players evaluated in categories such as speed, power, strength and agility. 2018 marks the second consecutive year that Duke has had co-winners of the award, with both players earning the award for the first times in their career.
"I’m really proud of the hard work that all of our guys put in this offseason,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “We’re fortunate that we’ve got the very best strength and conditioning coach in the country with Dan Perlmutter, and we’ve got the very best facilities in the country to train in. All of our guys got better, but in particular, I want to congratulate Chris Crabtree and Hunter Davis for winning our positional player and pitcher Omaha Awards. You couldn’t find two better guys that represent this award and what it means to our program. Both guys are tireless in their approach to their training, particularly with what they do in the weight room and the way that condition themselves for the season.”
At the end of the fall season, Head Olympic Sports Performance Coach Dan Perlmutter tests all the Blue Devil players in the categories of speed, strength, power, agility and mental focus. The player with the best combined score following all testing is deemed the Omaha Award recipient. Past winners include outfielder Anthony D’Alessandro (2013), infielder Andy Perez (2014), infielder Daniel Calabretta (2015), left-handed pitcher Chris McGrath (2016, 2017) and junior outfielder Chase Cheek (2017).
“The Omaha Award reflects not just our physical development, but it’s truly a reflection of the development of each one of our players and the competiveness that drives our program throughout the year,” said Perlmutter. “Both of these guys are really great representatives for not just their positional groups, but for the baseball program as a whole.”
“You couldn’t find two better guys that represent this award and what it means to our program,” added Pollard. Both guys are tireless in their approach to their training, particularly with what they do in the weight room and the way that condition themselves for the season. These guys embody a principle that’s very important to us, which is they’re very consistent with their approach—we call it being the same guy every day.”
Duke enters the season ranked No. 22 nationally in Baseball America’s Preseason Top 25 list.