NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt right fielder JJ Bleday has been named one of four finalists for the 42nd Golden Spikes Award presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, USA Baseball announced Wednesday.
The Golden Spikes Award winner will be unveiled on June 13 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, during “Baseball Tonight” on ESPN2 prior to the MLB Game between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. The award honors the best amateur baseball player in the United States. Bleday is joined by Adley Rutschman (Oregon State), Noah Song (Navy) and Andrew Vaughn (California).
Bleday is the national leader in home runs (26) and leads the SEC in slugging percentage (.752) and total bases (173). The SEC Player of the Year and the SEC Tournament MVP enters Friday’s NCAA Nashville Regional opener against Ohio State riding a 39-game on-base streak (March 19-present).
The Panama City Beach, Florida, native becomes the sixth Commodore to be named a Golden Spikes finalist, joining Pedro Alvarez (2007), Tyler Beede (2013), Carson Fulmer (2015), David Price (2007) and Dansby Swanson (2015). Price is the only Vandy player to take home the accolade.
A final ballot will be sent to the voting body consisting of national media, select professional personnel, previous winners and select USA Baseball staff, totaling a group of over 200 voters. Fan voting is open on GoldenSpikesAward.com through June 10. Selections made by the voting body will carry a 95% weight of each athlete’s total, while fan votes will account for the remaining 5%.
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.