(MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Being projected as one of the top players in the NCAA Division II for the 2019 season, Montana State University Billings baseball senior outfielder Jalen Garcia was named a National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason All-American announced by the organization on Tuesday.
“It is a great honor for Jalen to be included with the best of the best at the Division II level,” said MSUB head coach Aaron Sutton. “It is a testament to all the work he has put into his game. We are all proud to have him represent ‘Jacket baseball at the national level.”
Garcia, who was named an NCBWA preseason all-region selection last week along with teammates Steen Fredrickson and Conner Linebarger, is the third Yellowjacket in the last four years to garner the accolade. Adam Cox earned the honor prior to the 2017 season, and Luke Reinschmidt claimed it in advance of the 2016 campaign.
Garcia was a first-team all-GNAC and second-team NCBWA and American Baseball Coaches Association all-region outfielder a season ago. He ranked third on the team with a .351 batting average, while starting 47 games playing primarily in center field. One of the most well-rounded players in the region, Garcia hit nine home runs, drove in 51, and stole an MSUB-record 25 bases during the 2018 campaign.
Garcia returns to lead a talented outfield squad this season, after reaching base at a clip of .403 and slugging at .653 during his junior season. Garcia led MSUB with 20 doubles and seven triples among his 71 hits.
The Billings native was the only player from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to earn the award, and was one of just eight players in the NCAA D2 west region to be named a preseason All-American.
The Yellowjackets begin the 2019 season February 9-10 in Golden, Colorado, against Colorado School of Mines.