DURHAM, N.C. – Elon University baseball pitchers Kyle Brnovich and George Kirby find themselves included in the 55-player preseason watch list for the 2019 Golden Spikes Award, announced Thursday afternoon, Feb. 7, by USA Baseball.
Debuting in 1978, the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award is presented to the top amateur baseball player in the country who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 14.
The preseason watch list features 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.
Brnovich, a native of Milton, Ga., was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Preseason Player of the Year earlier in the day and was named a semifinalist for last year’s Award. The right-handed pitcher made 15 starts with an 8-2 record and a 1.71 ERA in 2018. He also led the league with 105.0 innings pitched and recorded 147 punchouts, the second-most in league history.
From Rye, N.Y., Kirby was chosen as a CAA Preseason Honorable Mention after finishing the 2018 season with a 10-3 record and a 2.89 ERA. His win total tied for the third-most in program history. With 96 strikeouts in 90.1 innings of work, he held opposing batters to a .256 average.
Both pitchers have been named Preseason All-Americans.
Last year’s award recipient Andrew Vaughn (California) joins Jim Abbott, Mark Kotsay, and Kip Bouknight as the only Golden Spikes Award winners who returned to school after receiving the honor.
Eighteen different collegiate athletic conferences are represented on the preseason watch list. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with 13 representatives, followed by the Pac-12 Conference with 12, the Atlantic Coast Conference with nine, and the Big 12 Conference with five. The American Athletic Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, and Conference USA are the only other conferences with multiple athletes on the list.
Moving forward, the midseason watch list will be announced on April 10 and semifinalists on May 15. After voting concludes on May 26, finalists will be revealed on May 29.
A complete list of the 55-player USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list is as follows:
Name, Position, Class, School, Conference
Kevin Abel, RHP, So., Oregon State, Pac-12 Conference
Patrick Bailey, C, So., NC State, Atlantic Coast Conference
J.J. Bleday, OF, Jr., Vanderbilt, Southeastern Conference
Cody Bradford, LHP, Jr., Baylor, Big 12 Conference
Kyle Brnovich, RHP, Jr., Elon, Colonial Athletic Association
Tanner Burns, RHP, So., Auburn, Southeastern Conference
Michael Busch, IF, Jr., North Carolina, Atlantic Coast Conference
Matt Canterino, RHP, Jr., Rice, Conference USA
Cameron Coursey, IF, So., Georgia Gwinnett, Association of Independent Institutions
Matt Cronin, LHP, Jr., Arkansas, Southeastern Conference
Wil Dalton, OF, Jr., Florida, Southeastern Conference
Logan Davidson, IF, Jr., Clemson, Atlantic Coast Conference
John Doxakis, LHP, Jr., Texas A&M, Southeastern Conference
Tyler Dyson, RHP, Jr., Florida, Southeastern Conference
Tristin English, RHP/IF, Jr., Georgia Tech, Atlantic Coast Conference
Mason Feole, LHP, Jr., Connecticut, American Athletic Conference
Zack Hess, RHP, Jr., LSU, Southeastern Conference
Will Holland, IF, Jr., Auburn, Southeastern Conference
Kolton Ingram, LHP, Sr., Columbus State, Peach Belt Conference
Josh Jung, IF, Jr., Texas Tech, Big 12 Conference
George Kirby, RHP, Jr., Elon, Colonial Athletic Association
Heston Kjerstad, OF, So., Arkansas, Southeastern Conference
Russell Lamovec, RHP, Sr., Mercyhurst, Great Midwest Athletic Conference
Shea Langeliers, C, Jr., Baylor, Big 12 Conference
Jack Little, RHP, Jr., Stanford, Pac-12 Conference
Nick Lodolo, LHP, Jr., TCU, Big 12 Conference
Jake Mangum, OF, Sr., Mississippi State, Southeastern Conference
Alek Manoah, RHP, Jr., West Virginia, Big 12 Conference
Casey Martin, IF, So., Arkansas, Southeastern Conference
Drew Mendoza, IF, Jr., Florida State, Atlantic Coast Conference
Max Meyer, RHP, So., Minnesota, Big 10 Conference
Kameron Misner, OF, Jr., Missouri, Southeastern Conference
Sean Mooney, RHP, Jr., St. John’s, Big East Conference
Bryant Packard, OF, Jr., East Carolina, American Athletic Conference
Andre Pallante, RHP, Jr., UC Irvine, Big West Conference
Drew Parrish, LHP, Jr., Florida State, Atlantic Coast Conference
Nick Quintana, IF, Jr., Arizona, Pac-12 Conference
Adley Rutschman, C, Jr., Oregon State, Pac-12 Conference
Mitchell Senger, LHP, Jr., Stetson, ASUN Conference
Noah Song, RHP, Sr., Navy, Patriot League
Graeme Stinson, LHP, Jr., Duke, Atlantic Coast Conference
Bryson Stott, IF, Jr., UNLV, Mountain West Conference
Kyle Stowers, OF, Jr., Stanford, Pac-12 Conference
Kevin Strohschein, OF, Sr., Tennessee Tech, Ohio Valley Conference
Chase Strumpf, IF, Jr., UCLA, Pac-12 Conference
Zack Thompson, LHP, Jr., Kentucky, Southeastern Conference
Michael Toglia, IF, Jr., UCLA, Pac-12 Conference
Spencer Torkelson, IF, So., Arizona State, Pac-12 Conference
Dan Valerio, UT, Sr., Southeastern, The Sun Conference
Andrew Vaughn, IF, Jr., California, Pac-12 Conference
Matt Wallner, OF, Jr., Southern Miss, Conference USA
Will Wilson, IF, Jr., NC State, Atlantic Coast Conference
Bobby Witt Jr., SS/RHP, Sr., Colleyville High School, District 8-5A
Logan Wyatt, IF, Jr., Louisville, Atlantic Coast Conference
Kenyon Yovan, RHP, Jr., Oregon, Pac-12 Conference