Black and Golden Spikes

Vanderbilt trio recognized among USA Baseball’s preseason watch list

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three Commodores are represented among USA Baseball’s 55-man preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, the organization announced Thursday. The award, which recognizes the nation’s top amateur player, will be presented June 11 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Commodore junior Austin Martin, who was a semifinalist for the accolade a season ago, is joined by junior Tyler Brown and sophomore Kumar Rocker. Vanderbilt and Arizona State lead all schools with three student-athletes apiece.

Fan nominations and voting will once again play a part in the Golden Spikes Award. Fans can nominate student-athletes to be in consideration for the award starting Friday on In addition, fans will once again be able to vote for their favorite players, starting on May 14 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists.

USA Baseball will announce the finalists for the award on May 28 and fan voting will open at concurrently, remaining open through June 7.

Vanderbilt’s JJ Bleday became the sixth Commodore in program history to be named a finalist a season ago, joining 2007 winner David Price, Pedro Alvarez (2007), Tyler Beede (2013), Carson Fulmer (2015) and Dansby Swanson (2015).

The second-ranked Commodores open the season at 6 p.m. CT Friday in Scottsdale, Arizona, against No. 13 Michigan. The matchup can be seen on MLB Network. Vanderbilt opens its home slate at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against South Alabama.