LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Baseball senior first baseman Joe Drpich has been selected as the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year. Drpich was joined on the Preseason All-MAAC Team by classmate Jordan Bishop for the Saints, who were projected to finish seventh according to the league’s 11 head coaches.
Drpich becomes the first Saint to be named MAAC Preseason Player of the Year in seven years, since Dan Paolini earned the distinction in 2011. Earlier this week, Drpich was also predicted to be the MAAC Player of the Year according to Baseball America, while both he and Bishop were selected to Perfect Game’s Preseason All-MAAC Team.
A native of South Salem, New York, Drpich was named an ABCA/Rawlings All-Northeast Region First Team, ECAC First Team, and First Team All-MAAC selection after leading the MAAC with a whopping .577 slugging percentage last spring. Siena College’s 2016-17 Male Student Athlete of the Year, Drpich ranked second in the conference in both home runs (10) and RBI (46) in 2017, and was tied for third in total bases (105), while standing fifth in batting average (.346). In 24 MAAC contests, he led the league in average (.419), hits (39), total bases (67), and slugging percentage (.720), while ranking second in both home runs (six) and RBI (29). Overall, Drpich recorded both a 20-game on-base and a 14-game hitting streak, and led the Saints with 12 multiple RBI performances. Drpich enters his senior season ranked tied for fifth all-time in program history with 26 career home runs.
Bishop receives Preseason All-MAAC honors for the second straight season. The Wappingers Falls, New York standout was one of Siena’s program record-tying three First Team All-MAAC selections last spring, receiving acclaim as the conference’s top second baseman for the second year in a row. Bishop led the Saints in 2017 in both doubles (13) and sacrifices (six). He hit .313 in 45 appearances (44 starts) while manning the keystone, and drove in 24 runs. Bishop recorded 13 multi-hit and seven multi-RBI performances last spring, and enters his senior season as the program’s active career leader with 166 hits.
Defending Tournament Champion Marist was selected as preseason favorite according to the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, with 113 points and seven of 11 first-place votes. Canisius was chosen a close second with 107 points and a pair of first-place votes. Both defending MAAC Regular Season Champion Fairfield (91) and Niagara (88) accounted for the other two first-place tallies in rounding out the top-four in the polling. Monmouth (80) was slotted fifth, followed by Iona (67), Siena (44), Quinnipiac (44), Rider (39), Manhattan (34), and Saint Peter’s (16) to complete the poll.
The Saints open their 2018 season with a three-game set at defending National Champion Florida Feb. 16-18, and begin both their home slate and conference competition against the reigning MAAC Tournament Champion Red Foxes in Loudonville on Good Friday Mar. 30. The league’s top-six finishers will once again qualify for the MAAC Championships, which will be held this year at Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island, New York.
Siena returns its top-seven hitters and two-thirds of its weekend rotation from last year’s squad which posted a 20-28-2 overall record and finished tied for eighth in the MAAC with an 11-13 league record.