April 10, 2014

Davis, Eshelman Named to Golden Spikes Midseason Watch List

DURHAM, N.C. – Cal State Fullerton sophomore right-hander Thomas Eshelman and junior two-way player J.D. Davis were named to the Golden Spikes Award 50-man midseason watch list by USA Baseball on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country.

 

Cal State Fullerton was tied for the most nominees on the midseason watch list with eight other teams including Florida State, Oregon State and Virginia.

 

Eshelman appears on the midseason watch list for the second consecutive season. He was a semifinalist for the award as a freshman in 2013. Vanderbilt's Tyler Beede and Aaron Nola of Louisiana State were also semifinalists in 2013 that made the 2014 midseason watch list.

 

Eshelman was also named to the preseason watch list to start this season, one of four Titans named to that list along with Davis, Matt Chapman and Justin Garza.

 

Eshelman is currently 5-1 as the Friday-night starter for the Titans this season with a 1.43 ERA. The Carlsbad, Calif. native leads the nation with a 48:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He leads the Big West Conference in walks allowed per nine innings with a 0.14 mark, which also ranks second in the nation.

 

Eshelman is also tied for first in the conference with two complete games and leads the team with 63 innings pitched. The sophomore's 0.75 WHIP leads the Big West Conference and ranks ninth in the nation. He leads the Titans with seven quality starts and went 26 straight innings without allowing an earned run.

 

As for Davis, the junior was also named to the preseason watch list and leads the Titans with a .349 batting average. His .541 slugging percentage also leads the team and ranks fifth in the Big West. Davis has also started in all 28 games for the Titans this season.

 

He is coming off a nine-game hitting streak, a team-high, and has reached safely in 10 consecutive games.

 

Along with the bat, Davis has also served as the hammer in the back end of the bullpen for the Titans, leading the team with four saves in five opportunities. He's 1-0 in six appearances for the Titans. He had his best outing on Tuesday when he shut down UCLA for two innings, holding the Bruins hitless while striking out three.

 

The Titans have produced three Golden Spikes winners in the program's history: Tim Wallach (1979), Phil Nevin (1992) and Mark Kotsay (1995).

 

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 Feb. 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.

 

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.

 

Important 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:

 

Friday, Feb. 14: 60-man preseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors

Thursday, April 10: 50-man midseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors

Thursday, May 8: 30-man watch list, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors

Tuesday, May 27: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three

Friday, May 30: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET

Tuesday, June 3: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one

Friday, June 13: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET

Thursday, July 17: Golden Spikes Award presentation

 

The complete 2014 preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List is as follows:

 

Name, Position, Class, School

Brady Aiken, LHP, Senior, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS

Brian Anderson, IF, Junior, Arkansas

Brett Austin, C, Junior, NC State

Tyler Beede, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt

Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine

Nick Burdi, RHP, Junior, Louisville

Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State

Austin Cousino, OF, Junior, Kentucky

J.D. Davis, OF/RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton

Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington

Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi

Joey Epperson, OF/IF, RS-Senior, UC Santa Barbara

Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Sophomore, Cal State Fullerton

Erick Fedde, RHP, Junior, UNLV

Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Junior, TCU

Blake Fox, LHP, Sophomore, Rice

Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville

Clinton Freeman, OF, Sophomore, East Tennessee State

Jeff Gardner, OF, Senior, Louisville

Aaron Garza, RHP, Junior, Houston

Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State

Grayson Greiner, C, Junior, South Carolina

Chris Haddeland, RHP, Junior, Linfield

Ian Happ, IF, Sophomore, Cincinnati

Seth Harrison, OF, Senior, Louisiana Lafayette

Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly

Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary

Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia

Ross Kivett, IF, Senior, Kansas State

Ryan McBroom, OF, Senior, West Virginia

Daniel Miles, IF, Junior, Tennessee Tech

DJ Miller, IF, Senior, Delaware State

Corey Miller, RHP, Senior, Pepperdine

Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine

Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast

Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, LSU

Mike Papi, OF, Junior, Virginia

Mark Payton, OF, Senior, Texas

Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State

A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky

Kyle Schwarber, C, Junior, Indiana

Kade Scivicque, C, Junior, LSU

Austen Smith, IF, Senior, Alabama

D.J. Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State

Ryan Thompson, RHP, Senior, Campbell

Trent Thornton, RHP, Sophomore, North Carolina

Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana

Luke Weaver, RHP, Sophomore, Florida State

Ben Wetzler, LHP, Senior, Oregon State

Bradley Zimmer, OF, Junior, San Francisco