May 29, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. -- Arizona pitcher Kurt Heyer is one of the 30 semifinalists for the 2012 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA), USA Baseball announced on Tuesday. This marks the 35th consecutive year that the award has been presented to the nation's top amateur baseball player.
The Wildcats' right-hander has turned in a remarkable junior campaign, posting an 11-2 record and a 2.03 earned run average, the lowest among Pac-12 starting pitchers during the regular season. Heyer has registered the second-most strikeouts (91) in the Pac-12, and has walked just 20 while throwing a league-leading 119.2 innings for Arizona.
A native of Huntington Beach, Calif., Heyer has thrown six complete games this season, the most for a Wildcat pitcher in a single season since Lance Dickson in 1990. Of Heyer's six complete games, five came over the final eight Pac-12 weekends.
On Monday, Heyer was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the sixth time in his career, including the third time in 2012, becoming the first to do so since UCLA's Tyson Brummett in 2007.
GoldenSpikesAward.com -- powered by MLB.com -- will once again be the online home for the award. The Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for the 2012 semifinalists. Fans can follow online at GoldenSpikesAward.com as the list of 30 players is narrowed to three finalists on Tuesday, June 5.
For the second year in a row, the GSA will be awarded live on MLB Network. On Friday, July 6, the three finalists for the award will be at MLB Network's studios for the presentation on The Rundown, which will feature interviews, video highlights and the announcement of the winner. The presentation will also be simulcast live on GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com.
Among conferences, the SEC leads with six players, while the ACC and Big 12 have five and the Pac-12 has four. Juniors are tops with 16 semifinalists and they are joined by five sophomores and eight seniors. Carlos Rodon (North Carolina State) is the only freshman on the list.
In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it will follow the same model again in 2012. After working closely with sports information directors and amateur baseball media across the country to determine watch lists and the top-performing athletes, a committee voted to determine the 30 semifinalists. A ballot featuring the names and accomplishments of the 30 semifinalists will now be sent to a group of more than 215 voters which will select the three finalists and eventual winner. Beginning today fans will also be able to vote on the 2012 GSA by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite amateur player.
Important 2012 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:
• Thursday, Feb. 16 -- 50-man preseason Watch List released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
• Tuesday, May 1 -- 60-man midseason Watch List released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
• Tuesday, May 29 -- 30 semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials, semifinalist voting begins, voters select three
• Friday, June 1 -- Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
• Tuesday, June 5 -- Three finalists announced, finalist voting begins, voters to select one
• Friday, June 15 -- Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
• Friday, July 6 -- Live Golden Spikes Award presentation in-studio on MLB Network's The Rundown A complete list of the 2012 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists is as follows:
Name, Position, Class, School, Conference
Mark Appel, RHP, Junior, Stanford, Pac-12
Sean Bignall, OF, Senior, Arkansas-Little Rock, Sun Belt
Jayce Boyd, IF, Junior, Florida State, ACC
Kris Bryant, IF, Sophomore, San Diego, WCC
Kevin Gausman, RHP, Sophomore, Louisiana State, SEC
Jeff Gelalich, OF, Junior, UCLA, Pac-12
Marco Gonzales, LHP/IF, Sophomore, Gonzaga, WCC
Andrew Heaney, LHP, Junior, Oklahoma State, Big 12
Kurt Heyer, RHP, Junior, Arizona, Pac-12
Goose Kallunki, IF, Senior, Utah Valley, Great West
Daniel Kassouf, IF, Senior, Appalachian State, SoCon
Alex Keudell, RHP, Senior, Oregon, Pac-12
Trenton Moses, IF, RS-Junior, Southeast Missouri, Ohio Valley
Tyler Naquin, OF, Junior, Texas A&M, Big 12
D.J. Peterson, IF, Sophomore, New Mexico, Mountain West
Nick Petree, RHP, RS-Sophomore, Missouri State, Missouri Valley
Kevin Plawecki, C, Junior, Purdue, Big Ten
Danny Poma, OF, Senior, Hofstra, CAA
James Ramsey, OF, Senior, Florida State, ACC
Raph Rhymes, OF, Junior, Louisiana State, SEC
Carlos Rodon, LHP, Freshman, North Carolina State, ACC
Michael Roth, LHP, Senior, South Carolina, SEC
Richie Shaffer, IF, Junior, Clemson, ACC
Chris Stratton, RHP, Junior, Mississippi State, SEC
Ross Stripling, RHP, Senior, Texas A&M, Big 12
Marcus Stroman, RHP, Junior, Duke, ACC
Josh Turley, LHP, Junior, Baylor, Big 12
Michael Wacha, RHP, Junior, Texas A&M, Big 12
Alex Yarbrough, IF, Junior, Mississippi, SEC
Mike Zunino, C, Junior, Florida, SEC
About the Golden Spikes Award
Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2011 Golden Spikes Award winner was Trevor Bauer of UCLA. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Bryce Harper ('10), Stephen Strasburg ('09), Buster Posey ('08), David Price ('07), Tim Lincecum ('06), Alex Gordon ('05), Jered Weaver ('04), Rickie Weeks ('03), and Mark Kotsay ('95). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Pat Burrell ('98), Robin Ventura ('88), Jim Abbott ('87), Will Clark ('85), Dave Magadan ('83), Terry Francona ('80), Tim Wallach ('79), and Horner ('78). For more information, please visit GoldenSpikesAward.com.
About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, World Cup and Pan American teams (and all other USA Baseball professional teams); and the Collegiate, 18U, 15U, and Women's National Teams, all of which participate in various domestic and international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit USABaseball.com and GoldenSpikesAward.com.