May 8, 2014

Eshelman Named to 30-Man Golden Spikes Award Watch List

DURHAM, N.C. – Cal State Fullerton sophomore Thomas Eshelman was named to the Golden Spikes Award 30-Man Watch List, USA Baseball announced on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country.

Eshelman was named to the 30-man list for the second consecutive season after being a semifinalist during his freshman campaign in 2013. He was one four players from the Big West Conference named to the list on Thursday, tying the conference for the most watch-list players along with the Southeastern Conference.

In 2014, Eshelman is currently 6-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 94.1 innings pitched. He's allowed opponents to hit just .215 against him, surrendering 74 hits with only 17 of those going for extra bases. He also leads the team with 10 quality starts this year.

The Carlsbad, Calif. native leads the nation with a 23.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 0.29 walks per nine innings average. Both of those marks would rank second on the Cal State Fullerton single-season record book behind only his freshman season numbers. He is also ranked sixth in the nation in WHIP (0.82) and 14th in the nation with four complete games.

On Apr. 25, Eshelman became the first Titans pitcher to toss 10 innings since Jason Windsor did so in a 2-1 victory over Jered Weaver and Long Beach State on May 21, 2004. Eshelman tossed a complete-game shutout in the team's 10-inning walk-off victory over Hawaii. He scattered six hits, did not issue a walk and fanned six.

The Titans have produced three Golden Spikes Award 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 the semifinalists for the award are announced on May 27, 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.

Six new players were added to the list since its last release on April 10, joining 24 others from the first watch list. Along with the four players from both the SEC and Big West, 15 different NCAA conferences are represented on the list. The West Coast Conference, PAC 12 Conference and Atlantic Sun Conference all had three athletes on the list.

USA Baseball officials will announce the list of semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award 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. 

Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).

 

Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).

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 30-man midseason Golden Spikes Award list as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School (in order of last name)

Caleb Adams, OF, Junior, Louisiana Lafayette

Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine

Nick Burdi, RHP, Junior, Louisville

Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State

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, EHP, Junior, UNLV

Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Junior, TCU

Mike Franco, RHP, Junior, Florida International

Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville

Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State

Grayson Greiner, C, Junior, South Carolina

Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly

Connor Joe, IF, Junior, San Diego

Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary

Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia

Jordan Luplow, OF, Junior, Fresno State

Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine

Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast

Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, Louisiana State

Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State

Josh Prevost, RHP, Senior, Seton Hall

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

DJ Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State

Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana

Drew Weeks, OF/IF, Junior, North Florida

Ben Wetzler, LHP, Senior, Oregon State

Bradley Zimmer, OF, Junior, San Francisco