DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball released its 40-player midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Wednesday, moving closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 40th Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 29 in Los Angeles.
The midseason watch list features 40 of the nation’s top amateur players from the college ranks. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will continue to maintain a rolling list of athletes, allowing players to play themselves into consideration for the award before announcing the semifinalists on May 31.
The Southeastern Conference leads all conferences in players on the midseason watch list with 11, while seven players represent the Atlantic Coast Conference and five athletes represent the Pac-12 Conference. In total, 16 different NCAA conferences have at least one athlete on the list, including one from the Lone Star Conference in NCAA Division II.
Auburn, LSU, North Carolina, Oregon State, Texas and Virginia each landed two athletes on the midseason watch list.
“The 2017 Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list highlights the depth of elite amateur talent across the entire country,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO at USA Baseball. “These forty athletes have performed at an elevated level and deserve to be honored at this point of their baseball seasons. We look forward to watching the rest of the amateur baseball schedule and announcing the semifinalists for this prestigious award in May.”
Tanner Houck (Jr., P, Missouri) and Brendan McKay (Jr., IF/P, Louisville) are on the midseason watch list for the third consecutive year. McKay was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award in 2015 and 2016. J.B. Bukauskas (Jr., P, North Carolina), Jake Burger (Jr., IF, Missouri State), Adam Haseley (Jr., OF/P, Virginia), Keston Hiura (Jr., IF/OF, UC Irvine), Jeren Kendall (Jr., OF, Vanderbilt) and Clarke Schmidt (Jr., P, South Carolina) were all named to the midseason watch list for the second straight year.
On Wednesday, May 31, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award. The list of semifinalists will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow amateur baseball closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 39 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
Amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com from May 31-June 9. On Wednesday, June 14, USA Baseball will announce the finalists for the award, and fan voting will once again commence that same day. Fan voting for the finalists will end on Friday, June 23.
The 2017 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on Thursday, June 29, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Award Dinner that evening at Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.
Mercer University outfielder Kyle Lewis took home the prestigious award in 2016, joining a group of recent winners that includes Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).
GoldenSpikesAward.com, created in 2008 and powered by MLB Advanced Media, is the online home of the award. The website features content devoted exclusively to the Golden Spikes Award, including news, a weekly player spotlight, voting history and past winner photo galleries.
The anticipated timeline for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award announcements is as follows:
Wednesday, May 31: 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists announced, voting begins
Friday, June 9: 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalist voting ends
Wednesday, June 14: 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists announced, voting begins
Friday, June 23: 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
Thursday, June 29: 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation
A complete list of the 40-player USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list is as follows:
Name, Year, Position, School
Tyler Adkinson, Jr., OF, San Diego State
Joey Bart, So., C, Georgia Tech
J.B. Bukauskas, Jr., P, North Carolina
Jake Burger, Jr., IF, Missouri St.
Griffin Canning, Jr., P, UCLA
Morgan Cooper, Jr., P, Texas
Alex Cunningham, Sr., P, Coastal Carolina
Greg Deichmann, Jr., OF, LSU
Alex Faedo, Jr., P, Florida
Ben Fisher, Sr., IF, Eastern Kentucky
Steven Gingery, So., P, Texas Tech
Dre Gleason, Sr., IF, Austin Peay
Adam Haseley, Jr., OF/P, Virginia
Luke Heimlich, Jr., P, Oregon State
Keston Hiura, Jr., IF/OF, UC Irvine
Tyler Holton, So., P, Florida State
Tanner Houck, Jr., P, Missouri
Marshall Kasowski, Jr., P, West Texas A&M
Jeren Kendall, Jr., OF, Vanderbilt
Nolan Kingham, So., RHP, Texas
Blaine Knight, So., P, Arkansas
Gunner Leger, Jr., P, Louisiana Lafayette
Nick Madrigal, So., IF, Oregon State
J.J. Matijevic, Jr., IF, Arizona
Brendan McKay, Jr., IF/P, Louisville
Kevin Merrell, Jr., IF/OF, South Florida
Casey Mize, So., P, Auburn
Eli Morgan, Jr., P, Gonzaga
David Peterson, Jr., P, Oregon
Jared Poche, Sr., P, LSU
Brent Rooker, Jr., OF, Mississippi State
Jake Scheiner, Jr., IF, Houston
Clarke Schmidt, Jr., P, South Carolina
JP Sears, Jr., P, Citadel
Danny Sexton, Jr., LHP, Wright State
Brian Shaffer, Jr., P, Maryland
Pavin Smith, Jr., IF/OF, Virginia
Keegan Thompson, Jr., P, Auburn
Logan Warmoth, Jr., IF, North Carolina
Evan White, Jr., IF, Kentucky
About Golden Spikes Award
Since 1978, 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, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2016 Golden Spikes Award winner was Kyle Lewis from Mercer University. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Andrew Benintendi (’15), Kris Bryant (’13), Mike Zunino (’12), Trevor Bauer (’11), Bryce Harper (’10), Stephen Strasburg (’09), Buster Posey (’08), David Price (’07), Tim Lincecum (’06), and Alex Gordon (’05). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Pat Burrell (’98), Mark Kotsay (’95), Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79), and Horner (’78). For more information, please visit GoldenSpikesAward.com. Fans can follow the Golden Spikes Award on Twitter @USAGoldenSpikes.