TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s DJ Stewart and Luke Weaver were named to the 50-man mid-season Golden Spikes Award watch list as announced by USA Baseball.
The watch list will continue to be a “rolling” list until May 27 -- when the semifinalists for the award are announced -- ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live in Los Angeles on July 17.
Twenty-three new players were added to the list since its initial release on February 14, joining 27 others from the preseason watch list. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences in watch list players, placing nine on the midseason update, while 17 different NCAA conferences had at least one athlete on the list. The Atlantic Coast Conference had six athletes on the list.
Florida State joined Cal State Fullerton, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Louisiana State, Oregon State, Pepperdine and Virginia placing two athletes on the mid-season watch list.
Stewart currently leads the ACC in hitting (.384), slugging percentage (.687), doubles (12) and total bases (68), while ranking in the top 10 in five other offensive categories including home runs (6, t-2nd), on-base percentage (.496, 3rd), runs scored (29, 4th), hits (38, t-7th) and walks (23, t-8th).
The Yulee, Fla., native has started 26 games in 2014, all in left field, and has reached base in 53 straight games dating back to last year – a mark that currently sits as the second longest active streak in the nation. Stewart is tied for the team lead with 11 multi-hit games and ranks second with seven multi-RBI games.
In eight starts, Weaver is 5-2 with a 2.83 ERA. He is the clubhouse leader in innings pitched (54.0) and strikeouts (46) and tied for the team lead in wins. The DeLand, Fla., native ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in all three categories.
The junior right hander hurled the first complete game of his career against Boston College in Rhode Island on March 28, a one-hit shutout in a 6-0 Florida State victory. Weaver has pitched into the fifth inning in all eight of his starts this year and has recorded seven or more strikeouts five times. Weaver has served as the Seminoles’ Friday night starter all year long.
USA Baseball officials will announce the 30-man watch list for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Thursday, May 8. USA Baseball will then release the semifinalists 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’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).