Baty, a senior from Wichita, Kan., finished atop KU's single season record book in two categories last season -- recording 257 at bats and 97 hits. The second team All-Big 12 selection in 2003 was honored as the National Hitter of the Week on Feb. 4 for an outstanding performance in Hawaii last spring, and finished the season with a .377 batting average, the highest of his career. The first baseman also was named to the All-Midwest Region second team by the ABCA prior to playing in the wood-bat summer league in Cape Cod. Baty led the Hyannis Mets with 19 RBI and ranked second on the team with .274 batting average in Cape Cod.
"This award is a nice compliment to Ryan's career at KU and truly recognizes him as one of the best players in the nation," Kansas head coach Ritch Price said. "If he comes out and has the best year of his career he will have the opportunity to leave Kansas as the best offensive player is school history."
Kansas gets set to open the 2004 season in just three weeks, Jan. 16-20, travelling to Hilo, Hawaii, to take on Hawaii-Hilo in a seven-game series on the big island of Hilo. First pitch of the 2004 season is set for 4 p.m. HST (9 p.m. CST) on Jan. 16.