OCALA-- College of Central Florida baseball player James Nix continues to rack up the awards, being named a first team all-american by NJCAA baseball on Tuesday afternoon.
Nix is the first CF baseball player in 15 years to be named to the NJCAA All-American list. Left-handed pitcher Tommy Giles was the last to receive the honor in 2004.
What a cinderella story year it has been for Nix.The former NCAA Div. II transfer went from walk-on to FCSAA Player of the Year, NJCAA All-American, MLB draft pick and Southeastern Conference signee.
Nix walked on to the CF squad in the fall of 2018 and worked his way to a scholarship once one opened up at the beginning of the spring semester. From there, the FCSAA Player of the Year proved to head coach Marty Smith why he made the right decision in awarding him a scholarship.
Nix batted .462 with 48 RBI, 88 runs scored, 24 stolen bases, and nine home runs in 53 games this spring. He finished No. 1 in the FCSAA in batting average, slugging percentage (.739), and on-base percentage (.593), while finishing Top 10 in RBI and home runs.
The University of South Carolina signee racked up a plethora of awards as a result of his dominant offensive performance.
Nix was named the Mid-Florida Conference and FCSAA Baseball Player of the Year and went on to be named the MFC and FCSAA Male Athlete of the Year, awarded to the most dominant male athlete across all FCSAA sports. He was also named a NJCAA and ABCA/ Rawlings Div. 1 Baseball All-American. This June Nix's cinderella journey continued when he heard his named called in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, picked in the 35th round by the Houston Astros.
"[James] Nix is a kid that came to us really hungry to prove that he could play the game. He worked really hard to be the best player that he can possibly be... hitting, lifting, throwing, fielding...everything," said head coach Marty Smith. "To go from a walk-on to an all-american, draft pick and SEC signee, it is a testament to his work ethic and really turning his tools into a great baseball player."
Nix's cinderella story is still being written. It is yet to be determined if he will forego his commitment to attend the University of South Carolina and sign with the Astros, but one thing is for sure, Nix is an inspiration and an example of resiliency and determination.