DURHAM, N.C. – Kentucky baseball standouts Collin Cowgill and Scott Green have been named to the 31st annual USA Baseball Golden Spikes National Player of the Year Award Watch List, joining an initial listing of 75 total players – including 15 Southeastern Conference players – USA Baseball announced.
The initial list – the first ever of its kind for the Golden Spikes Award – features 75 of the nation’s top collegiate talents, as nominated by baseball sports information directors across the country. The watch list will also be “rolling” to ensure that athletes who play themselves into consideration by USA Baseball for the Golden Spikes Award are not ignored. The Golden Spikes Award is sponsored by Major League Baseball, and 2008 marks the 31st installment of the award.
Cowgill, a 2008 second-team preseason All-American, returns for the Wildcats after redshirting the 2007 season due to injury. Cowgill helped lead UK to its first SEC Championship in 2006 with a .298 average, 16 homers, and 61 RBI, before injuring his hand in the preseason of 2007. Healthy during the summer, Cowgill tore through the Cape Cod League, batting .290, with four doubles, four triples, and two home runs, earning Cape All-Star Honors.
Green, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound right-hander, is also coming off a monster summer in the Cape. While teaming with Cowgill on the CCL Champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Green posted monster numbers. The redshirt junior finished the summer with a 1.56 ERA, a 3-1 record, and a save in 40 1/3 innings, striking out 35. A highly touted product out of Male High School in Louisville, Ky., Green stepped into the SEC as a weekend starter and closer during his 2005 freshman season. After undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing UK’s 2006 SEC Championship season, Green returned in a limited role in 2007, pitching in 17 2/3 innings, striking out 20, and earning a 3.06 ERA. Rated last week as the 21st-best prospect in college baseball by Baseball America, Green also ranked as the sixth-best prospect coming out of the Cape.
On May 20, USA Baseball officials will cut the watch list of players to 50 names. The final list of 50 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of select professional baseball personnel, past USA Baseball National Team coaches, select members of the media, former USA Baseball sports information directors, and current USA Baseball staff - close to 150 voters in total.
Additionally, for the first time ever, fan voting will be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2008. May 20 will also mark the day when college baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player for the Golden Spikes Award on www.usabaseball.com
Conferences boasting the most watch list nominations include the SEC with 15 names, the
ACC and PAC 10 each have 10 members, and the Big 12 has eight (8) nominees.
Notable former winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona (1980), Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (1994), Robin Ventura (1988), Will Clark (1985), and the reigning award winner, Vanderbilt left-hander and 2007 No. 1 overall MLB Draft pick David Price.