Manny DeLeon, a senior on the Bluejay baseball team, received the honor as announced by the NAIA last week. DeLeon is the first KCAC baseball player to be named National Player of the Year.
A right fielder from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, DeLeon was one of 17 athletes selected to the All-American First Team as chosen by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association All-America Committee.
At the conclusion of the 2016 season, DeLeon led the NAIA in total bases (208), RBIs (108), slugging percentage (.897) and home runs (25).
DeLeon, who earned recognition as the KCAC Player of the Year earlier this year, batted a team-best .440 this season (102-for-232), including 25 home runs, three triples and 25 doubles. He led the team with 25 stolen bases.
DeLeon was not the only Bluejay to receive recognition from the NAIA.
Shortstop Michael Baca received honorable mention All-American honors.
The senior from Amarillo, Texas, batted .370 this season (94-for-254), including nine home runs, two triples and 18 doubles. He drove in 55 runs.
Baca received NAIA National Baseball Player of the Week recognition following a six-game stretch in mid-March, during which he batted .577 (15-for-26) and hit seven doubles, a triple and two home runs.
As a team, Tabor (45-18) recorded its sixth-consecutive 40-win season and earned the regular-season KCAC title for the fifth-straight year.
The Bluejays were eliminated by Science & Arts (Okla.) in the championship game of the Hutchinson Opening Round bracket.