USA Baseball names 50 semifinalists for 2008 Golden Spikes Award

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES
USA Baseball Logo(DURHAM, N.C.) – USA Baseball announced today the names of the 50 semifinalists for the 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA). This year will mark the 31st consecutive year that the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award has been presented to the nation’s premier amateur baseball player.

Today also marks the launch of GoldenSpikesAward.com, powered by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball. The new Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for 2008 semifinalists. Fans can follow online at GoldenSpikesAward.com as the list of 50 players is narrowed to five finalists on Tuesday, June 3, en route to the announcement of this year’s winner on Wednesday, July 16.

The 2008 GSA will be awarded as part of a production by Major League Baseball and MLBAM that will be streamed live on the Internet exclusively at GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com. The annual event will be held in New York City following MLB All-Star Week with a time and location to be announced in early June.

Headlining this year’s semifinalists are Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest), Preston Guilmet (Arizona), Brian Matusz (San Diego), Justin Smoak (South Carolina) and Brett Wallace (Arizona State), all of whom were also 2007 GSA semifinalists.

North Carolina leads the way with three semifinalists (Dustin Ackley, Tim Fedroff and Alex White), and eight other schools (Arizona State, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami [FL], San Diego, South Carolina, and Wichita State) have two semifinalists each.

In total, 40 colleges and universities are represented on the 2008 semifinalist list. Among conferences, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is tops with nine players on the list, and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Pacific-10 Conference (PAC-10) have eight and seven players, respectively.

In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it will follow the same model again in 2008. After accepting nominations from sports information directors across the country, a committee voted to determine the 50 semifinalists. The names of the 50 semifinalists will now be forwarded to a voting body of 125 who will select the five finalists and the eventual 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award winner.

“USA Baseball is proud to recognize these 50 athletes and their respective baseball programs as semifinalists for the 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “As in 2007, we see 40 different schools represented on this year’s semifinalist list – this again speaks to the level of baseball talent among college programs across the country.”

A list of the 50 semifinalists is below.

Player

College/University

Position

Class

Preston Guilmet

Arizona

P

Junior

Ike Davis

Arizona State

Utility

Junior

Brett Wallace

Arizona State

3B

Junior

Josh Satin

California

2B

Senior

David Cooper

California

1B

Junior

David Sappelt

Coastal Carolina

OF

Junior

Pat Venditte

Creighton

P

Senior

Corey Kemp

East Carolina

C

Senior

Christian Friedrich

Eastern Kentucky

P

Junior

Mike McKenna

Florida Atlantic

OF

Senior

Buster Posey

Florida State

C

Junior

Tanner Scheppers

Fresno State

P

Junior

Gordon Beckham

Georgia

SS

Junior

Joshua Fields

Georgia

P

Senior

Chris Shehan

Georgia Southern

OF

Junior

Sawyer Carroll

Kentucky

OF

Senior

Collin Cowgill

Kentucky

OF

Junior

Andrew Liebel

Long Beach State

P

Senior

Chris Dominguez

Louisville

3B

Sophomore

Matt Clark

LSU

1B

Junior

Jemile Weeks

Miami

2B

Junior

Yonder Alonso

Miami

1B

Junior

Nate Recknagel

Michigan

1B

Senior

Aaron Crow

Missouri

P

Junior

Johnny Dorn

Nebraska

P

Senior

Josh Romanski

San Diego

Utility

Junior

Brian Matusz

San Diego

P

Junior

Stephen Strasburg

San Diego State

P

Sophomore

Reese Havens

South Carolina

SS

Junior

Justin Smoak

South Carolina

1B

Junior

George Brown

St. John’s (N.Y.)

P

Senior

Jason Castro

Stanford

C

Junior

Kentrail Davis

Tennessee

OF

Freshman

Jordan Danks

Texas

OF

Junior

Dane Carter

Texas A&M

3B

Senior

Shooter Hunt

Tulane

P

Junior

Jake Jefferies

UC Davis

C

Junior

Scott Gorgen

UC Irvine

P

Junior

Alden Carrithers

UCLA

2B

Senior

Alex White

UNC

P

Sophomore

Tim Fedroff

UNC

OF

Sophomore

Dustin Ackley

UNC

1B

Sophomore

Xavier Scruggs

UNLV

1B

Senior

Ryan Flaherty

Vanderbilt

SS

Junior

Pat McAnaney

Virginia

P

Senior

Alan Dykstra

Wake Forest

1B

Junior

Anthony Capra

Wichita State

P

Junior

Conor Gillaspie

Wichita State

3B

Junior

Jeremy Hamilton

Wright State

1B

Junior

Ryan Lavarnway

Yale

C

Junior

For the past 30 years, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State in 1978, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2007 Golden Spikes Award winner was David Price of Vanderbilt University. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Tim Lincecum (’06), Alex Gordon (’05), Rickie Weeks (’03), Khalil Greene (’02), Jason Jennings (’00), Pat Burrell (‘98), J.D. Drew (’97), Mark Kotsay (’95), and Jason Varitek (’94). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79), and Bob Horner (’78).