BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU junior right-hander Aaron Nola has been named by USA Baseball to its 30-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list.
The watch list will continue to be a "rolling" list until the semifinalists for the award are announced on May 27, ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy, given to the top amateur baseball player in the country, will be presented live in Los Angeles on July 17.
Nola, a Baton Rouge product, leads the SEC this season in strikeouts (102) and ERA (1.58), and he is No. 5 in the nation in strikeouts. Nola is 7-1 on the year, recording 22 walks and 102 strikeouts in 85.2 innings, and opponents are hitting just .173 against him. He has moved to No. 6 on the LSU career strikeouts list with 313.
Six new players were added to the list since its last release on April 10, joining 24 others from the first watch list. The Southeastern Conference and the Big West Conference led all conferences in watch list players, with four each on the second midseason update. Additionally, 15 different NCAA conferences are represented on the list. The West Coast Conference, PAC 12 Conference and Atlantic Sun Conference all had three athletes on the list.
Nola and Cal State Fullerton’s Thomas Eshelman are the only players on the 2014 Golden Spikes Award 30-man watch list that were semifinalists for the award in 2013.
USA Baseball officials will announce the list of semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. Tuesday, May 27 marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names.
Last year, University of San Diego infielder Kris Bryant took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).
LSU all-American pitcher Ben McDonald won the Golden Spikes Award in 1989.
Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).