Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. The award is sponsored by Major League Baseball and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. It is presented each year to the player who best exhibits exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
In 2015, University of Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi won the prestigious award in a presentation on ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter. Past winners also 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), David Price (2007), Buster Posey (2008), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Bryce Harper (2010), Trevor Bauer (2011), Mike Zunino (2012), Kris Bryant (2013) and A.J. Reed (2014).
2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award presented by Major League Baseball
When the Golden Spikes Award is presented to the top amateur player on June 30, it will mark the ninth year in a row the award has been presented via an awards show to the entire country.
USA Baseball will compile an initial list of more than 200 candidates for the award. The list is based on recommendations and will include rolling nominations as well, to ensure that all players are considered. USA Baseball officials have reviewed this list with the Golden Spikes Award Committee and unveiled the 2015 Golden Spikes Award 50-player preseason watch list on Feb. 16.
On April 20, USA Baseball officials and the Golden Spikes Committee will release the 60-player midseason watch list. A few weeks later, USA Baseball officials will trim the number of players down and release the 30 seminfinalists. The list of semifinalists will be announced on June 1, and that list will then be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel and former Golden Spikes Award winners, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.
Fan voting* will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2016. June 1 will also mark the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player for the Golden Spikes Award on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names. On June 13, USA Baseball will announce the three finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
The 2016 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on June 30, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.
Important 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:
Tuesday, Feb. 16: 50-man preseason Watch List released, shaped by the Golden Spikes Award Committee
Monday, April 11: Fan nominations begin
Sunday, April 17: Deadline for fan nominations
Wednesday, April 20: Midseason Watch List released, shaped by the Golden Spikes Award Committee
Wednesday, June 1: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials and the Golden Spikes Award Committee; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
Wednesday, June 8: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
Monday, June 13: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
Friday, June 24: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, June 30: Golden Spikes Award presentation
*The "fans" will be treated as one "voter" in the voting process for the 2016 Golden Spikes Award, and their vote will count for ~0.5% of the overall vote (one of 219 voters in the committee). In the semifinalist round the three players receiving the highest percentage of the fan vote will each receive one vote from the "fans." In the finalist round, the one player receiving the highest percentage of the fan vote will receive one vote from the "fans."