Golden Spikes to Golden Gloves

Every year the Most Valuable Player in amateur baseball is awarded the Golden Spikes award. Although it isn’t given strictly to college players, since the inception in 1978 it has been awarded to only college players. A less popular award called the Dick Howser Trophy is awarded to the National College Player of the Year. Most years the same player wins both honors.

38 of the 40 winners played for schools that compete in the NCAA. Alex Fernandez in 1990 who pitched for Miami Dade Community College and Bryce Harper in 2010 for College of Southern Nevada were the only non NCAA school winners. Both players were playing at community college schools to expedite their eligibility for the MLB Draft. Needless to say neither was a surprise winner.

So why the history lesson on the Golden Spikes award? What does this have to do with the 2018 season? Well in the 40 years of the award there has only been two players to not make it to the MLB. Out of the 38 players to make it to the MLB most became superstars and a handful were number one overall picks in the draft.

There is a strong correlation between winning the Golden Spikes and having a successful professional career. This year’s winner will be announced June 28th in Los Angeles. The following is a list of the top 10 2018 college players that are considered front runners for the award, a much more condensed list from the top 55 the USA Baseball announced earlier this year.

NAME POSITION CONFERENCE SCHOOL
Luken Baker DH/ 1B Big 12 TCU
Seth Beer 1B/ OF ACC Clemson
Griffin Conine OF ACC Duke
Jeremy Eierman SS MVC Missouri State
Nick Madrigal 2B Pac-12 Oregon State
Casey Mize RHP SEC Auburn
Brady Singer RHP SEC Florida
Travis Swaggerty OF Sun Belt South Alabama
Matt Wallner OF/RHP C-USA Southern Miss
Zach Watson OF SEC LSU

NCAA.comFirst look at the list I can’t help but notice Seth Beer on the list for the third straight year, but this will be his last. Beer had another strong off-season and might be the hardest working player in all of college. Starting off the season 3 for 8 with 2 doubles and a home run isn’t too bad either.

Matt Wallner from Southern Miss is a 2018 C-USA preseason player of the year and two way gem for the Golden Eagles. Wallner is only a sophomore and will look to represent the forgotten five as a Golden Spikes finalist come June.

Most of the 10 are projected first round picks this year if eligible. With a whole season of play and statistics to mull over, this list will change drastically but here is a timeline that shows how the finalists and voting works. All fans can vote by going here GoldenSpikesAward.com

The 2018 Golden Spikes Award timeline:

  • Monday, March 26: Golden Spikes Award fan nominations begin
  • Sunday, April 1: Golden Spikes Award fan nominations end
  • Monday, May 21: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists announced, voting begins
  • Sunday, June 3: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting ends
  • Wednesday, June 6: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists announced, voting begins
  • Friday, June 22: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
  • Thursday, June 28: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation

Make sure to go vote throughout the year and play apart in the 2018 Golden Spikes Award.

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