STARKVILLE — For the second time in the last four seasons, the SEC Player of the Year hails from Mississippi State, as junior Tanner Allen was named the conference’s top player and five total Diamond Dawgs earned honors from the conference office on Monday (May 24).
With Allen’s player of the year award, Mississippi State has captured six specialty awards in the last five seasons, including Brent Rooker’s Southeastern Conference Player of the Year award in 2017. Ethan Small (Pitcher of the Year) and JT Ginn (Freshman of the Year) each won an award in 2019, and John Cohen (Coach of the Year) and Jake Mangum (Freshman of the Year) each won an award in 2016.
Allen was also tabbed first-team All-SEC to give State a first-team honoree in eight of the last nine years, with 16 total selections over that span.
Allen has been at his best against the best in college baseball, as the left-handed hitter led the SEC in overall batting average (.387) and was the only SEC hitter to finish with a average over .400 in SEC play (.411). Allen produced 25 multi-hit games and 17 multi-RBI contests this season and reached base multiple times in 36 of 52 games played. Allen was the only SEC student-athlete to rank among the top-10 in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, RBIs, total bases and hits in the regular season.
On the season, Allen hit .300-or-better against eight of 10 SEC opponents, including a .400 average against Auburn, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M. He hit .500 against Missouri and .615 in three games at South Carolina. In conference play, Allen was on base in 29 of 30 games with a conference-leading 16 multi-hit and 12 multi-RBI contests. The left-handed hitter led the SEC in conference-only average (.411), hits (51) and total bases (87). He was the only SEC hitter to post a .400 average and 50 hits in conference only games in 2021.
Allen one of two Power 5 hitters – and one of four nationally – to produce at least 50 runs scored, 70 hits and 50 RBIs in the regular season. Allen currently sits among the top 35 nationally in hits (No. 6; 79), triples (No. 9; 5), runs scored (No. 26; 53), total bases (No. 28; 126) and batting average (No. 35; .387).