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USA Baseball Release | February 8, 2019

Golden Spikes 2019 preseason watch list released by USA Baseball

Golden Spikes Award finalists revealed

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced its 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2019 season. The 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 14.

The preseason watch list features 55 of the nation's top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.

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Headlining the 2019 watch list is the reigning Golden Spikes Award winner, Andrew Vaughn (California). Vaughn joins Jim Abbott, Mark Kotsay, and Kip Bouknight as the only Golden Spikes Award recipients who returned to school after winning the award.

In 2013 San Diego's Kris Bryant was baseball's best

In addition to Vaughn, four 2018 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists are also featured on the preseason watch list in Kyle Brnovich (Elon), Josh Jung (Texas Tech), Kevin Strohschein (Tennessee Tech) and Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State), and five additional athletes have been named to the preseason watch list previously. Jake Mangum (Mississippi State) has been named to the preseason watch list for the third consecutive year and is joined by Zack Hess (LSU), Shea Langeliers (Baylor), Drew Mendoza (Florida State) and Matt Wallner (Southern Miss), who have been recognized for the second straight year.

"We are pleased to announce the fifty-five athletes who have been selected to the Preseason Watch List for the forty-second annual Golden Spikes Award," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. "The athletes who make up this year's initial watch list span multiple schools and divisions of amateur baseball and, for the first time since 2001, includes the reigning Golden Spikes Award winner. The 2019 season looks to be highly competitive and we are anxious for the first pitches of the year to get underway."

In 1988 Robin Ventura was college baseball's best

Five athletes will look to join Alex Fernandez (1990) and Bryce Harper (2010) as a Golden Spikes Award winner who claimed their respective trophies as a non-NCAA Division I athlete. Cameron Coursey (Georgia Gwinnett) and Dan Valerio (Southeastern) represent the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) on the preseason list, while Kolton Ingram (Columbus State) and Russell Lamovec (Mercyhurst) represent NCAA Division II. Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville High School) is the only amateur high school baseball player recognized by the advisory board on the watch list.

Eighteen different collegiate athletic conferences are represented on the preseason watch list in 2019. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with 13 representatives, while the Pac-12 Conference boasts 10 selections, the Atlantic Coast Conference claims nine and the Big 12 Conference has five. The American Athletic Conference, Colonial Athletic Association and Conference USA are the only other conferences with multiple athletes on the list. 

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The University of Arkansas leads all schools on the preseason watch list with three selections, while Auburn, Baylor, Elon, Florida, Florida State, NC State, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA each boast a pair of athletes represented as well. In total, 44 different schools are represented on the 2019 preseason watch list.

Last year, Cal's Vaughn took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that include Brendan McKay (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).

In 2008 FSU's Posey was king of the diamond

Amateur baseball fans will be able to vote for their favorite players at GoldenSpikesAward.com again in 2019, starting on May 15 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists. The list of semifinalists will also be sent to a voting body consisting of baseball media members, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and 40 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.

USA Baseball will announce the finalists on May 29 and fan voting will open at GoldenSpikesAward.com concurrently and will remain open through June 10.

The winner of the 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be named on Friday, June 14.

USA Baseball has partnered with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation to host the Golden Spikes Award since 2013. The Foundation was formed to honor legendary USC and USA Baseball Olympic team coach, Rod Dedeaux, and supports youth baseball and softball programs in underserved communities throughout Southern California.

NAME POSITION YR. SCHOOL CONFERENCE
Kevin Abel RHP So. Oregon State Pac-12
Patrick Bailey C So. NC State Atlantic Coast Conference
J.J. Bleday OF Jr. Vanderbilt Southeastern Conference
Cody Bradford LHP Jr. Baylor Big 12 Conference
Kyle Brnovich RHP Jr. Elon Colonial Athletic Association
Tanner Burns RHP So. Auburn Southeastern Conference
Michael Busch IF Jr. North Carolina Atlantic Coast Conference
Matt Canterino RHP Jr. Rice Conference USA
Cameron Coursey IF So. Georgia Gwinnett Association of Independent Institutions
Matt Cronin LHP Jr. Arkansas Southeastern Conference
Wil Dalton OF Jr. Florida Southeastern Conference
Logan Davidson IF Jr. Clemson Atlantic Coast Conference
John Doxakis LHP Jr. Texas A&M Southeastern Conference
Tyler Dyson RHP Jr. Florida Southeastern Conference
Tristin English RHP/IF Jr. Georgia Tech Atlantic Coast Conference
Mason Feole LHP Jr. Connecticut American Athletic Conference
Zack Hess RHP Jr. LSU Southeastern Conference
Will Holland IF Jr. Auburn Southeastern Conference
Kolton Ingram LHP Sr. Columbus State Peach Belt Conference
Josh Jung IF Jr. Texas Tech Big 12 Conference
George Kirby RHP Jr. Elon Colonial Athletic Association
Heston Kjerstad OF So. Arkansas Southeastern Conference
Russell Lamovec RHP Sr.  Mercyhurst Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
Shea Langeliers C Jr. Baylor Big 12 Conference
Jack Little RHP Jr. Stanford Pac-12 Conference
Nick Lodolo LHP Jr. TCU Big 12 Conference
Jake Mangum OF Sr. Mississippi State Southeastern Conference
Alek Manoah RHP Jr. West Virginia Big 12 Conference
Casey Martin IF So. Arkansas Southeastern Conference
Drew Mendoza IF Jr. Florida State Atlantic Coast Conference
Max Meyer RHP So. Minnesota Big 10 Conference
Kameron Misner OF Jr. Missouri Southeastern Conference
Sean Mooney RHP Jr. St. John's Big East
Bryant Packard OF Jr. East Carolina American Athletic Conference
Andre Pallante RHP Jr. UC Irvine Big West Conference
Drew Parrish LHP Jr. Florida State Atlantic Coast Conference
Nick Quintana IF Jr. Arizona Pac-12 Conference
Adley Rutschman C Jr. Oregon State Pac-12 Conference
Mitchell Senger LHP Jr. Stetson ASUN Conference
Noah Song RHP Sr. Navy Patriot League
Graeme Stinson LHP Jr. Duke Atlantic Coast Conference
Bryson Stott IF Jr. UNLV Mountain West Conference
Kyle Stowers OF Jr. Stanford Pac-12 Conference
Kevin Strohschein OF Sr. Tennessee Tech Ohio Valley Conference
Chase Strumpf IF Jr. UCLA Pac-12 Conference
Zack Thompson LHP Jr. Kentucky Southeastern Conference
Michael Toglia IF Jr. UCLA Pac-12 Conference
Spencer Torkelson IF So. Arizona State Pac-12 Conference
Dan Valerio UT Sr. Southeastern The Sun Conference
Andrew Vaughn IF Jr. California Pac-12 Conference
Matt Wallner OF Jr. Southern Miss Conference USA
Will Wilson IF Jr. NC State Atlantic Coast Conference
Bobby Witt Jr. SS/RHP Sr. Colleyville High School District 8-5A
Logan Wyatt  IF Jr. Louisville Atlantic Coast Conference
Kenyon Yovan RHP Jr. Oregon Pac-12 Conference

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