By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
DURHAM, N.C. – Tennessee Tech senior outfielder Kevin Strohschein was named to the 2019 Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List Thursday afternoon, the first Golden Eagle baseball player to earn the honor in program history.
USA Baseball announced its 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2019 season. The 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 14.
The preseason watch list features 55 of the nation's top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.
Strohschein represents one of five 2018 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists to also be featured on the preseason watch list, joining Kyle Brnovich (Elon), Josh Jung (Texas Tech), Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) and last year's winner, Andrew Vaughn (California). The Golden Eagle outfielder became the first Tech player ever named a semifinalist last season, one of just 25 players in the nation to make the list.
He also joined former teammate Chase Chambers as the first Golden Eagles every named as semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy last season.
A native of McDonough, Ga., Strohschein turned in a spectacular junior campaign, becoming the first Tech player ever to win his second Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year honor. He was also the first Golden Eagle to be named a consensus All-American, taking home a total of five honors.
The slugger finished the season with a gaudy line of .375/.433/.650 last season, totaling 106 hits (the second most in program history), 69 runs, 18 doubles, 18 home runs and 67 RBI. He became the first player in OVC history to record three seasons with at least 60 RBI, three seasons with at least 75 hits and three seasons with at least 55 runs scored. Strohschein is also just the fourth player in league history (and second in school history) to record three seasons with at least 14 home runs.
Strohschein will look to join a prestigious group of recent winners of the Golden Spikes Award, a list that includes Vaughn (2018), Brendan McKay (2017), 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), David Price (2007), Tim Lincecum (2006) and Alex Gordon (2005).
Amateur baseball fans will be able to vote for their favorite players at GoldenSpikesAward.com again in 2019, starting on May 15 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists. The list of semifinalists will also be sent to a voting body consisting of baseball media members, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and 40 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
USA Baseball will announce the finalists on May 29 and fan voting will open at GoldenSpikesAward.com concurrently and will remain open through June 10.
The winner of the 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be named on Friday, June 14.
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.
The 2019 Golden Spikes Award timeline:
• April 10: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list announced
• May 15: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists announced, voting begins
• May 26: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting ends
• May 29: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists announced, voting begins
• June 10: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
• June 14: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation
For the complete list of the 55-player USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list, visit USABaseball.com.