DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball unveiled its 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Wednesday, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2017 season. The list includes 13 players from the ACC, tied for the most from any conference.
The 40th Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 29 in Los Angeles.
The watch list includes Clemson’s Seth Beer, Florida State’s Dylan Busby and Taylor Walls, Georgia Tech’s Kel Johnson, Louisville’s Brendan McKay, Miami’s Carl Chester, North Carolina’s J.B. Bukauskas and Brian Miller, NC State’s Joe Dunand, Notre Dame’s Peter Solomon, Virginia’s Adam Haseley and Pavin Smith, and Wake Forest’s Stuart Fairchild.
Last year, Clemson’s Beer and Louisville’s Corey Ray were two of the four finalists for the award. ACC players have previously won the award four times: Georgia Tech’s Jason Varitek (1994), Florida State’s J.D. Drew (1997), Clemson’s Khalil Greene (2002), and Florida State’s Buster Posey (2008).
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.
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.
Starting on March 27 and ending April 2, fans will be able to nominate their favorite players for the Golden Spikes Award prior to the reveal of Midseason Watch List on April 12. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow the amateur game closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 39 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
Fan voting will continue to be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2017, starting on May 31 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists. Amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. On June 14, USA Baseball will announce the finalists and voting will begin that day and last until June 23.
The winner of the 40th Golden Spikes Award will be named on Thursday, June 29, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Award Dinner that evening at Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.