DURHAM, N.C. – Mercer outfielder Trey Truitt was named Wednesday by USA Baseball to the 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2017 season.
Last year, Mercer University outfielder Kyle Lewis took home the 39th annual prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that include Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008) and David Price (2007). The 40th Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 29 in Los Angeles.
“That is a great honor for him,” Mercer head coach Craig Gibson said. “I am really happy for him individually and for the program. I am looking forward to Trey having a great season this year.”
Truitt’s recognition comes after having been named Preseason All-America by multiple publications. He was also listed as a first-team Preseason All-Southern Conference honoree.
The preseason watch list features 55 of the nation’s top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.
“We are excited to kick off the 40th year of this prestigious award with the announcement of 55 members of the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. “We cannot wait to follow these athletes closely during the course of the baseball season before ultimately recognizing one premier athlete to join the remarkable group of winners we have had in our history.”
Last season as a sophomore, Truitt hit .335 with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs. He finished the season ranked 15th in the nation in runs scored (64), 18th in the nation in home runs, 19th nationally in runs per game (1.08) and 22nd in the nation in total bases (150).
A product of Rehobeth High School in Dothan, Alabama, Truitt posted a .636 slugging percentage (ranking 35th nationally) last year. He led Mercer with 35 extra-base hits and posted 14 multi-RBI games on the year. For all that (and more) he was named second-team all-conference and received SoCon All-Tournament honors.
Truitt helped lead the Bears to a 38-23 mark and a Southern Conference regular-season championship. The Bears are one of only seven Division I programs to have won 35 or more games in each of the last seven seasons.
Starting on March 27 and ending April 2, fans will be able to nominate their favorite players for the Golden Spikes Award prior to the reveal of Midseason Watch List on April 12. 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 39 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
Fan voting will continue to be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2017, starting on May 31 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists. Amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. On June 14, USA Baseball will announce the finalists and voting will begin that day and last until June 23.
The winner of the 40th Golden Spikes Award will be named on Thursday, June 29, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Award Dinner that evening at Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.
Mercer opens the 2017 season on Friday as the Bears host Maryland Eastern Shore at the new OrthoGeorgia Park.