DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball released its 60-player midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Wednesday, moving closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country. Sponsored by Major League Baseball and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 39th Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 30 in Los Angeles. ESPN will once again serve as the programming sponsor for the Golden Spikes Award.
The midseason watch list features 60 of the nation's top amateur players from the high school and 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 June 1."We are excited to announce the 60 players on the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO at USA Baseball. "These athletes have proven themselves worthy of consideration for this prestigious award through the eyes of the advisory board and from the overwhelming fan support through our first-ever nomination process."
USA Baseball introduced a nomination process that allowed fans the opportunity to recommend their favorite players for the award. Over eight thousand submissions were presented to the Golden Spikes Advisory Board for consideration in the first year.
Forty-two new players were added to the watch list since its initial release on February 16, joining 18 others previously identified on the preseason list. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences in watch-list players, placing 14 on the midseason update, while 13 players represent the Atlantic Coast Conference. In total, 21 different NCAA conferences had at least one athlete on the list, including one from the Division III ranks.
Louisville, Vanderbilt and Virginia led the way with three athletes on the midseason watch list. Clemson, Florida, Miami, South Carolina and TCU each posted a pair of representatives on the list.
Luke Gillingham (Sr., P, Navy) and Brendan McKay (So., IF/P, Louisville) were placed on the midseason watch list for the second consecutive year and were named semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award in 2015. Will Craig (Jr., IF, Wake Forest) was also named to the midseason watch list for the second year in a row.
Jake Fishman (Jr., P/DH, Union College) and Blake Rutherford (HS-Sr., OF, Chaminade College Preparatory) represent the only non-NCAA Division I athletes on the midseason watch list.
On Wednesday, June 1, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2016 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 38 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 June 1-8. On Monday, June 13, 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 Saturday, June 25.
The 2016 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on Thursday, June 30, at a presentation in Los Angeles.
Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi took home the prestigious award in 2015, joining a group of recent winners that includes 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 web site 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 2016 Golden Spikes Award announcements is as follows:
Wednesday, June 1: 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists announced, voting begins
Wednesday, June 8: 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalist voting ends
Monday, June 13: 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists announced, voting begins
Saturday, June 25: 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
Thursday, June 30: 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation
A complete list of the 60-player USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list is as follows:
Peter Alonso, Jr., IF, Florida
Brandon Bailey, Jr., P, Gonzaga
Luken Baker, Fr., IF/P, TCU
Elliott Barzilli, Jr., IF, TCU
Seth Beer, Fr., OF, Clemson
Dustin Beggs, Sr., P, Kentucky
Grant Bennett, Sr., P, Troy
Ryan Boldt, Jr., OF, Nebraska
Geoffrey Bramblett, Jr., P, Alabama
J.B. Bukauskas, So., P, North Carolina
Jake Burger, So., IF, Missouri State
Corbin Burnes, Jr., P, Saint Mary's
C.J. Chatham, Jr., IF, Florida Atlantic
Zack Collins, Jr., C, Miami
Will Craig, Jr., IF, Wake Forest
Brett Cumberland, So., C, California
Chris DeVito, Jr., IF, New Mexico
Nick Feight, So., C, UNCW
Jameson Fisher, RS-Jr., IF, Southeastern Louisiana
Jake Fishman, Jr., UT, Union College
Bryan Garcia, Jr., P, Miami
Luke Gillingham, Sr., P, Navy
Anfernee Grier, Jr., OF, Auburn
Thomas Hackimer, Sr., P, St. John's
Darick Hall, Jr., IF/P, Dallas Baptist
Adam Haseley, So., P/OF, Virginia
Kevin Hill, R-Sr., P, South Alabama
Keston Hiura, Fr.,IF/ OF, UC Irvine
Tanner Houck, So., P, Missouri
Dakota Hudson, Jr., P, Mississippi State
Danny Hudzina, Sr., IF, Western Kentucky
Logan Ice, Jr., C, Oregon State
Griffin Jax, Jr., P, Air Force
Connor Jones, Jr., P, Virginia
Jeren Kendall, So., OF, Vanderbilt
Evan Kruczynski, Jr., P, ECU
Eric Lauer, Jr., P, Kent State
Brandon Lawson, Jr., P, South Florida
Kyle Lewis, Jr., OF, Mercer
Joey Lucchesi, Sr., P, SE Missouri State
Darren McCaughan, So., P, Long Beach St.
Brendan McKay, So., IF/P, Louisville
Sheldon Neuse, Jr., IF/P, Oklahoma
Stephen Nogosek, Jr., P, Oregon
Chris Okey, Jr., C, Clemson
Heath Quinn, Jr., OF, Samford
Corey Ray, Jr., OF, Louisville
Bryan Reynolds, Jr., OF, Vanderbilt
Blake Rutherford, HS-Sr., OF, Chaminade Prep
Clarke Schmidt, So., P, South Carolina
Ryan Scott, Sr., OF, Arkansas Little Rock
Nick Senzel, Jr., IF, Tennessee
Colton Shaver, So.,C/ IF, BYU
Logan Shore, Jr., P, Florida
Nick Solak, Jr., IF, Louisville
Jacob Stevens, Fr., P, Boston College
Matt Thaiss, Jr., C, Virginia
Braden Webb, Fr., P, South Carolina
Boomer White, Jr., IF, Texas A&M
Kyle Wright, So., P, Vanderbilt