DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball named the four finalists for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award on Wednesday. The Golden Spikes Award is presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation and for the fourth consecutive year the award will be presented live on ESPN’s flagship program, SportsCenter, on Thursday, June 29.
2017 marks the 40th consecutive year the Golden Spikes Award has been awarded to the top amateur baseball player in the United States based on their athletic ability, sportsmanship, character and overall contribution to the sport.
J.B. Bukauskas (North Carolina), Adam Haseley (Virginia), Brendan McKay (Louisville) and Brent Rooker (Mississippi State) are the 2017 finalists after receiving the most votes among the 25 semifinalists announced on May 31.
J.B. Bukauskas earned ACC Pitcher of the Year honors in 2017 after tallying an 8-0 record and 106 strikeouts in 82 innings pitched. He also ranked top-five nationally with a 1.87 ERA as the Friday-night starter for North Carolina. He was named first-team All-ACC as well as a first-team All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. The Houston Astros drafted Bukauskas in the 2017 MLB Draft with the 15th overall pick.
Virginia’s Adam Haseley was named first-team All-ACC and a first-team All-American by Baseball America in 2017 after he finished the regular season as the league’s batting champion with a .400 average. He also led the ACC in runs scored (64) and on-base percentage (.498). In addition to his offensive prowess, Haseley also served on the Cavalier’s weekend rotation as a starting pitcher and went 7-1 with a 3.58 ERA. He was drafted eighth overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2017 MLB Draft.
University of Louisville two-way standout, Brendan McKay, was named the 2017 ACC Player of the Year while also earning All-ACC first team honors as both a starting pitcher and designated hitter. Offensively, McKay hit .361 with 15 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .683 slugging percentage in 53 starts as a hitter, and was equally effective on the mound. He led the ACC in strikeouts with 116 while also accumulating an 8-3 record with a 2.22 ERA in 13 starts. A first-team All-American selection by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, McKay was drafted fourth overall in the 2017 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Brent Rooker was named first-team All-SEC in 2017 and is the first Mississippi State player to earn SEC Player of the Year honors in school history. He led the league in nine offensive categories and finished the regular season atop the national rankings in slugging percentage and doubles. Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball named him a first-team All-American after posting a .415 batting average, 28 doubles, 20 home runs, 73 RBIs, 18 stolen bases and a .873 slugging percentage in 2017. The Minnesota Twins selected Rooker in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft with the 35th overall pick.
The Golden Spikes Award voting committee, which selects the finalists and the Golden Spikes Award winner, is comprised of over 200 voters, consisting of past Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media highly attuned within the amateur baseball landscape, select professional baseball personnel and select current USA Baseball staff members. The voting committee will have the opportunity to vote for the winner from today until Friday, June 23.
Fans will also be able to vote for the 2017 award winner by visiting the online home for the award, GoldenSpikesAward.com; which is powered by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM). Voting for fans ends at 5 p.m. EST on Friday, June 23, and the finalist with the most fan votes will receive one overall vote.
Following the nationally televised announcement of the winner on June 29, all four finalists and their families will be celebrated at the Jonathan Club Los Angeles as part of the 2017 Rod Dedeaux Foundation Awards Dinner. Hosted by the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the dinner will honor the Golden Spikes Award finalists, the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award winner, former USA Baseball assistant coach, Augie Garrido, and the 2016 Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Coach of the Year award winner, George Horton (Oregon).
USA Baseball recently announced a ten-year partnership extension with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation that provides the marketing and sponsorship rights surrounding the Golden Spikes Award to fund the foundation’s mission to support youth baseball and softball programs in underprivileged areas.
For more information on the Golden Spikes Award and the four 2017 finalists, follow along on social media @USAGoldenSpikes on Instagram and Twitter.