Preseason Watch List: By the Numbers

Since 2008, USA Baseball has kicked off the college baseball season with the announcement of the Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List. The first-ever Preseason Watch List featured 74 of the nation's top amateur baseball players, and has since been trimmed down to list 55 of the country's best. Check out some facts about the Preseason Watch List by the numbers!


Forty-one different schools are featured on the 2024 Preseason Watch List. Wake Forest leads all schools with four players on the list (Chase Burns, Josh Hartle, Seaver King, and Nick Kurtz), followed closely by Tennessee’s Billy Amick, Drew Beam, and Christian Moore. Additionally, nine other schools put two players on this year’s edition: Arkansas, California, Kansas State, LSU, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Virginia.


Fifteen conferences have representation on the 2024 preseason list, led by the Southeastern Conference (SEC)’s 15 players. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) follows with 10 players on the 55-man list, while the Big 12 placed four. The Pac-12, Big Ten, Coastal Athletic Association (CAA), and Sun Belt all had multiple players on the list.


Jac Caglianone is the one finalist from 2023 to be named to the preseason list in 2024. The other two finalists from a season ago–winner Dylan Crews and his LSU teammate Paul Skenes–were selected with the first two picks of the 2023 MLB Draft.


Eight players return to the Preseason Watch List in 2024 after appearing on the list last season: Drew Beam, Chase Burns, Carter Holton, Vance Honeycutt, Sam Kulasingam, Nick Kurtz, Braden Montgomery, and Tommy White.


Five players on this year’s Preseason Watch List will look to join Alex Fernandez (1990) and Bryce Harper (2010) as the only players from a non-NCAA Division I school to win the Golden Spikes Award. Jake Hjelle (Minnesota-Crookston), Tanner Reaves (Blinn CC), and Brett Sanchez (Belhaven) all represent different levels of college baseball, while high schoolers Cam Caminiti (Saguaro High School) and Konnor Griffin (Jackson Prep) also earned their spot on the Preseason Watch List.


Florida and LSU both have 34 all-time selections to the Preseason Watch List, tying for the lead among all schools in the nation. Vanderbilt owns 31 all-time selections, while Arizona State ranks fourth with 26.