DURHAM, N.C. – Elon University sophomore pitcher Kyle Brnovich was among those included as USA Baseball announced the 25 semifinalists for its Golden Spikes Award on Monday, May 21. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 28 in Los Angeles.
Brnovich has put together a stellar sophomore campaign, posting an 8-2 overall record and leading the nation with 141 strikeouts. He has pitched to a 1.68 ERA and held opponents to a .152 batting average over 96.1 innings in 14 starts. The Milton, Ga., resident set a new program record for strikeouts and currently rates fifth on the CAA’s single-season chart. He is 10 strikeouts shy of the conference record set by current Houston Astros’ ace Justin Verlander. Brnovich has recorded 10 or more strikeouts in eight of his starts and has twice fanned 14 hitters this season. Brnovich was also selected to represent the United States as a member of the 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer.
In his two years at Elon, Brnovich is 14-7 with a 2.37 ERA and ranks third on the program’s career chart with 244 strikeouts.
The list of semifinalists spans 23 different colleges and universities, 13 conferences and two divisions of the NCAA, and features one athlete who was also a semifinalist in 2017 with Nick Madrigal (IF; Oregon State). Since 2007, 26 athletes have been named a semifinalist more than once in their careers, including past Golden Spikes Award winners Stephen Strasburg (2009), Trevor Bauer (2011), Mike Zunino (2012), Kris Bryant (2013) and Brendan McKay (2017).
“It is a tremendous honor to recognize the semifinalists for this year’s Golden Spikes Award,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s Executive Director and CEO. “This award is given to an amateur baseball player who exemplifies outstanding athletic ability, sportsmanship, character and overall contribution to the sport, and these twenty-five young athletes are incredibly deserving of this recognition.
“Year-in and year-out the talent level in the amateur landscape continues to grow and this year is no different. It is exciting to see Golden Spikes Award semifinalists represented from so many different conferences and, for the first time ever, an NCAA Division II institution.”
Beginning with the announcement of semifinalists, a ballot will be sent to the Golden Spikes Award voting body consisting of national baseball media, select professional baseball personnel, previous Golden Spikes Award winners and select USA Baseball staff, totaling a group of over 200 voters. From Monday, May 21 through Sunday, June 3, the voting body will select three semifinalists from the ballot to be named as Golden Spikes Award finalists and fan voting will simultaneously be open on GoldenSpikesAward.com. Selections made by the voting body will carry a 95% weight of each athlete’s total, while fan votes will account for the remaining 5%.
The finalists will then be announced on Wednesday, June 6. Beginning that same day through Friday, June 22, the voting body and fans will be able to cast their final vote for the Golden Spikes Award winner.
Brendan McKay took home the prestigious award last year, joining a group of recent winners that include Kyle Lewis (2016), 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 winner of the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be named on Thursday, June 28, 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.
USA Baseball has partnered with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation to host the Golden Spikes Award since 2013. The Foundation was formed to honor legendary USC and USA Baseball Olympic team coach, Rod Dedeaux, and supports youth baseball and softball programs in underserved communities throughout Southern California.
A complete list of the 25 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists is as follows:
Name, Class, Position, School, Conference
Joey Bart; Jr.; C; Georgia Tech; ACC
Alec Bohm; Jr.; IF; Wichita State; American Athletic
Kyle Brnovich; So.; RHP; Elon; Colonial Athletic
Brian Brown; Sr.; LHP; NC State; ACC
Kody Clemens; Jr.; IF; Texas; Big 12
Frank German; Jr.; RHP; North Florida; Atlantic Sun
Logan Gilbert; Jr.; RHP; Stetson; Atlantic Sun
Devlin Granberg; Sr.; IF/OF; Dallas Baptist; Missouri Valley
Luke Heyer; Sr.; IF/OF; Kentucky; SEC
Jonathan India; Jr.; IF; Florida; SEC
Josh Jung; So.; IF/RHP; Texas Tech; Big 12
Trevor Larnach; Jr.; OF; Oregon State; Pac-12
Nick Madrigal; Jr.; IF; Oregon State; Pac-12
Casey Mize; Jr.; RHP; Auburn; SEC
Joey Murray; Jr.; RHP; Kent State; Mid-American
John Rooney; Jr.; LHP; Hofstra; Colonial Athletic
Nick Sandlin; Jr.; RHP; Southern Miss; Conference USA
Zack Shannon; Sr.; RHP/IF; Delta State; Gulf South
Scott Shreiber; Sr.; OF; Nebraska; Big Ten
Brady Singer; Jr.; RHP; Florida; SEC
Bren Spillane; Jr.; IF/OF; Illinois; Big Ten
Kevin Strohschein; Jr.; OF; Tennessee Tech; Ohio Valley
Spencer Torkelson; Fr.; IF; Arizona State; Pac-12
Andrew Vaughn; So.; IF; California; Pac-12
Steele Walker; Jr.; OF; Oklahoma; Big 12