NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt right fielder JJ Bleday and third baseman Austin Martin have been named among 25 semifinalists for the coveted USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the organization announced Wednesday.
The award is presented annually to the top amateur baseball player. The 42nd Golden Spikes Award winner will be announced on June 14 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Vanderbilt is one of four schools with multiple semifinalists, joining Arizona State, Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
Martin is looking to become the first Commodore since Warner Jones (2004) to bat above .400 in a season. The sophomore, who is hitting at a .432 clip, leads the Commodores with 28 multi-hit games and paces the SEC in average, runs (64), on-base percentage (.515) and triples (4).
Bleday is tied for first nationally in home runs (23) and became Vanderbilt’s all-time single season leader on April 21. The Panama City, Florida, native has reached base in 79 of his last 80 games including 47 consecutive between March 4, 2018 and March 17, 2019. The junior leads the SEC in homers, slugging percentage (.741), RBIs (61) and total bases (149).
Beginning with the announcement of semifinalists, a ballot will be sent to the Golden Spikes Award voting body consisting of national baseball media, select professional baseball personnel, previous Golden Spikes Award winners and select USA Baseball staff, totaling a group of over 200 voters.
Through Sunday, May 26, each voting member will select three athletes from the Golden Spikes Award ballot of semifinalists and fan voting will simultaneously be open on GoldenSpikesAward.com. 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%.
The finalists will then be announced on Wednesday, May 29. Beginning that same day through Monday, June 10, the voting body and fans will be able to cast their final vote for the Golden Spikes Award winner.
Fifteen Commodores have been named semifinalists including five who have been named finalists. David Price took home the honor in 2007. Other past finalists including Pedro Alvarez (2007), Tyler Beede (2013), Carson Fulmer (2015) and Danbsy Swanson (2015).
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.
Name, Class, Position, School, Conference
Hunter Bishop, Jr., OF, Arizona St., Pac-12
JJ Bleday, Jr., OF, Vanderbilt, SEC
Isaiah Campbell, RS-Jr., P, Arkansas, SEC
Reid Detmers, So., P, Louisville, ACC
John Doxakis, Jr., P, Texas A&M, SEC
Ryan Garcia, Jr., P, UCLA, Pac-12
Nick Gonzales, So., IF, New Mexico St., WAC
Emerson Hancock, So., P, Georgia, SEC
Kody Hoese, Jr., IF, Tulane, AAC
Josh Jung, Jr., IF, Texas Tech, Big 12
George Kirby, Jr., P, Elon, CAA
Asa Lacy, So., P, Texas A&M, SEC
Jake Mangum, Sr., OF, Mississippi St., SEC
Alek Manoah, Jr., P, West Virginia, Big 12
Austin Martin, So., IF, Vanderbilt, SEC
Jackson Rutledge, So., P, San Jacinto, Region XIV
Adley Rutschman, Jr., C, Oregon St., Pac-12
T.J. Sikkema, Jr., P, Missouri, SEC
Ethan Small, RS-Jr., P, Mississippi St., SEC
Noah Song, Sr., P, Navy, Patriot
Bryson Stott, Jr., IF, UNLV, MWC
Zack Thompson, Jr., P, Kentucky, SEC
Spencer Torkelson, So., IF, Arizona St., Pac-12
Andrew Vaughn, Jr., IF, California, Pac-12
Bobby Witt Jr., HS-Sr., IF, Colleyville-Heritage High School