Thirty-man Golden Spikes Award watch list revealed
Presentation set for Thursday, July 17, in Los Angeles
DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball released its 30-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country.
The watch list will continue to be a "rolling" list until the semifinalists for the award are announced on May 27, ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live in Los Angeles on July 17.
Six new players were added to the list since its last release on April 10, joining 24 others from the first watch list. The Southeastern Conference and the Big West Conference led all conferences in watch list players, with four each on the second midseason update. Additionally, 15 different NCAA conferences are represented on the list. The West Coast Conference, PAC 12 Conference and Atlantic Sun Conference all had three athletes on the list.
All the schools represented have one athlete each, except Oregon State which boasts two players on the list. Cal State Fullerton's Thomas Eshelman and Louisiana State's Aaron Nola are both featured on the 2014 Golden Spikes Award 30-man watch list after being named semifinalists for the award in 2013.
USA Baseball officials will announce the list of semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. Tuesday, May 27 marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names.
Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).
Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).
Important 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:
Friday, Feb. 14: 60-man preseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, April 10: 50-man midseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, May 8: 30-man watch list, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Tuesday, May 27: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
Friday, May 30: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
Tuesday, June 3: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
Friday, June 13: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 17: Golden Spikes Award presentation
The complete 2014 30-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list is as follows:
Name, Position, Class, School (in order of last name, new players bolded)
Caleb Adams, OF, Junior, Louisiana Lafayette
Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine
Nick Burdi, RHP, Junior, Louisville
Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State
Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington
Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi
Joey Epperson, OF/IF, RS-Senior, UC Santa Barbara
Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Sophomore, Cal State Fullerton
Erick Fedde, EHP, Junior, UNLV
Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Junior, TCU
Mike Franco, RHP, Junior, Florida International
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville
Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State
Grayson Greiner, C, Junior, South Carolina
Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly
Connor Joe, IF, Junior, San Diego
Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia
Jordan Luplow, OF, Junior, Fresno State
Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine
Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast
Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, Louisiana State
Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State
Josh Prevost, RHP, Senior, Seton Hall
A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky
DJ Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State
Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana
Drew Weeks, OF/IF, Junior, North Florida
Ben Wetzler, LHP, Senior, Oregon State
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Junior, San Francisco