May 22, 2018
BOCA RATON, Fla. - For the second time in three years, a Florida Atlantic University junior shortstop is Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, as Tyler Frank has earned this year's honor, and he and four of his teammates were voted All-C-USA, in balloting results released by the league on Tuesday.
Following in the footsteps of C.J. Chatham in 2016, Frank was voted by coaches, sports information directors and media as 2018 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. Frank has been the cornerstone of the Owls' defense as shortstop for almost every possible inning of the last two years. He shows tremendous range and a strong and accurate arm, and ranks eighth in C-USA in assists (122) and within the top 20 (and just outside the top 15 excluding 1B) in double plays.
Frank repeats as a member of C-USA's First Team All-Conference, joining three other Owls voted as such for the first time in their FAU career. The senior duo of outfielder David Miranda and starting pitcher Jake Miednik, along with junior closer Zach Schneider, combine with Frank to make up the most First Teamers for any C-USA school (Southern Miss was the only other team with more than two, notching three). Senior relief pitcher Drew Peden garnered a Second Team nod, also the first league honor of his FAU career. The five total Owls recognized match Charlotte and Louisiana Tech for most among schools.
Miranda and Frank make up the team's top two hitters in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits, runs and doubles, and have combined for 20 home runs (Frank 11 and Miranda nine) and 71 runs batted in. Miranda has team highs of .319, 42 RBI and 66 hits. Frank bats .318 and leads the way with 55 runs scored, 19 doubles, 42 walks, and OBP and slugging of .452 and .587, respectively.
Miednik ranks among the league leaders with a 7-1 record, a 3.06 ERA, 79 strikeouts and a .224 opposing batting average. The team is 10-1 in games he starts. Behind him, Schneider leads all C-USA hurlers with 13 saves, while also pitching to a 5-1 mark and a 2.01 ERA. Combining with Schneider for arguably the best 1-2 punch in any C-USA bullpen, Peden actually ties for the league lead in wins, holding an 8-1 record, and is second among all pitchers with 29 appearances.
The four First Team members is the most FAU has had since joining C-USA, and equals the most merited in any year (also in 1999, 2002 and 2004, all while members of the Atlantic Sun). Only one other time as a C-USA member have they had as many as five players recognized, with two First Teamers and three Second Team in 2015.
The Owls kick off postseason play on Wednesday, opening up the 2018 C-USA Championship against FIU, with first pitch scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern.