TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s DJ Stewart and Luke Weaver were named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list as announced by USA Baseball.
The watch list features 60 of the nation’s top amateur players, and will be a “rolling” list until May 27 -- when the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists are announced -- ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the collegiate and high school seasons.
Both Seminoles have already garnered several accolades so far this season named preseason All-Americans by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
Stewart is coming off a freshman campaign in which he led the Seminoles in hits (82), batting average (.364), doubles (25) and slugging percentage (.560), while finishing second on the team with 59 RBI. For his efforts, Stewart garnered Freshman All-America accolades from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA and Perfect Game.
The Yulee, Fla., native started 60 games in his first season at Florida State playing all three outfield positions. Stewart closed out the season swinging a hot bat hitting .564 over his final 10 games including a .636 average in the Tallahassee Regional that landed him a spot on the All-Tournament team. Stewart played over the summer in the Cape Cod League with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox where he was named a Cape League All-Star after hitting .274 with four home runs, 11 doubles and 25 RBI in 35 games.
Weaver looks to build off a spectacular sophomore season that saw the hard throwing right hander make 15 starts with a 7-2 record and a 2.29 ERA. The DeLand, Fla., native recorded 119 strikeouts in 98.1 innings, both team-highs, while holding opponents to a .221 batting average. Weaver finished the year ranked nationally in strikeouts (11th), strikeouts per nine innings (11th, 10.89) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (13th, 6.26). He yielded just 19 walks on the year.
Weaver was dominant in his start against Troy in the Tallahassee Regional recording a career-high 14 strikeouts, the most by a Seminole pitcher since 2006, as he allowed only four hits and no walks in an 11-0 win. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of Regional following his performance. Weaver also pitched for the U.S. Collegiate National Team this past summer making five starts and posting a 2.14 ERA in 21.0 innings of work.
On April 10, USA Baseball will release its 50-man midseason watch list, shaped by USA Baseball staff and its committee of amateur baseball experts and media. On May 27, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow the amateur game closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 36 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
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 across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list. On Tuesday, June 3, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
Last year, University of San Diego’s 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).
Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Jim Abbott (1987), Robin Ventura (1988), Ben McDonald (1989), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).
Florida State leads the nation with the most Golden Spikes Award winners all-time with four – Mike Fuentes (1981), Mike Loynd (1986), JD Drew (1997) and Buster Posey (2008).