June 13, 2012. Daniel Kassouf became only the second NCAA first-team all-American in Appalachian State University baseball history when the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) tabbed the Mountaineer slugger as its first-team designated hitter on Wednesday.
Kassouf joins Randy Ingle (1979) as Appalachian State’s only first-team all-Americans since it joined to the NCAA Division I ranks in 1972. Overall, he is the 15th all-American in program history and the 10th in the school’s NCAA era.
Kassouf was one of the nation’s top power hitters in 2012, ranking 10th nationally with a school-record 17 home runs, 11th with a Southern Conference-leading 66 RBI and 16th with 148 total bases. He also finished with a gaudy .339 batting average and made a serious run at the SoCon triple crown, leading the league in all three triple-crown categories (batting average, home runs and RBI) as late as April 21. Spread out over the course of a 162-game Major League Baseball season, Kassouf’s power numbers would translate to 47 home runs and 181 RBI.
The all-America recognition highlights a long list of postseason accolades for the 6-1, 230-pound senior. Last week, Kassouf became the first SoCon Player ever selected by the NCBWA as its District IV Player of the Year, honoring the best player in Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. He was also one of 35 semifinalists for the NCBWA’s Dick Howser Trophy (National Player of the Year), one of 30 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award (USA Baseball’s top amateur player) and a first-team all-conference honoree by the SoCon’s coaches and media.
The NCBWA all-America teams are chosen through two rounds of voting by its membership. Kassouf and Samford’s Brandon Miller, a second-team outfielder, are the only SoCon representatives among the NCBWA’s 56 first-, second- and third-team all-Americans.