San Diego's Bryant wins 36th Golden Spikes Award as nation's best player
LOS ANGELES -- USA Baseball announced Friday the selection of San Diego's Kris Bryant as the recipient of the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. The prestigious award recognizing the nation's top amateur baseball player, now in its 36th year, was presented by Bob Horner, the first-ever Golden Spikes Award winner, live on MLB Network.
Tyler Beede (RHP, Vanderbilt) and Colin Moran (INF, North Carolina) were the other finalists for the award. Bryant was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, while Moran was selected No. 6 by the Miami Marlins. Beede recently completed his sophomore season for the Commodores and is currently a member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
"USA Baseball was delighted with the play across all levels of amateur baseball this year and could not be more proud of the three Golden Spikes Award finalists, Kris Bryant, Tyler Beede and Colin Moran," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball executive director/CEO. "Each of the three finalists we celebrate today represented the game of baseball with class both on and off the field this season. In the end, Kris' season highlighted a fantastic year of amateur baseball, and we are honored to present him with this most prestigious honor."
Bryant is the first Golden Spikes Award winner and the highest draft pick in San Diego's history. The Las Vegas native was a consensus first-team All-American, the first Dick Howser Trophy recipient from San Diego and Baseball America's 2013 College Player of the Year. Bryant crushed a nation's best 31 home runs, a record in the BBCOR bat era of college baseball. Bryant also led the nation in runs (80), bases on balls (66), total bases (187) and slugging percentage (.820).
Bryant becomes the first infielder to win the Golden Spikes Award since Nebraska's Alex Gordon won the award in 2005. Bryant is also the first player from the West Coast Conference to win the award.
Following the presentation live on MLB Network, the three finalists will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner, hosted at the Jonathan Club. Along with the Golden Spikes Award, Scott Brosius will be honored with the Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Coach of the Year Award, and Jackie Robinson will be celebrated with the Rod Dedeaux Award.
For the sixth year in a row, fans were able to stay up to date on the award by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com. The website features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries and photographs and video highlights of the 2013 finalists.
Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the GSA. Following the first-ever presentation of the trophy to Horner of Arizona State, the GSA has been awarded each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
The 2012 GSA winner was Mike Zunino of Florida. Past winners of the award include current Major Leaguers such as Bryce Harper ('10), Stephen Strasburg ('09), Buster Posey ('08), David Price ('07), Tim Lincecum ('06), Gordon ('05), Jered Weaver ('04), Rickie Weeks ('03) and Mark Kotsay ('95). Former big league stars that have captured the award include Pat Burrell ('98), Jason Varitek ('94), Robin Ventura ('88), Jim Abbott ('87), Will Clark ('85), Dave Magadan ('83), Terry Francona ('80), Tim Wallach ('79) and Horner ('78).