ATHENS—–University of Georgia senior outfielder Keegan McGovern has been named to the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list, USA Baseball announced Tuesday.
McGovern, a 6-2, 220-pound native of Willacoochee, Ga., is an Academic All-SEC student majoring in biology who ranks among the Southeastern Conference leaders in numerous offensive categories. A four-year starter, he is batting a team-best .364 average with 10 home runs and 31 RBI for the 18th-ranked Bulldogs (23-9, 8-4 SEC). During his Georgia career, McGovern has played in 192 games with a .289 batting average, 21 home runs and 104 RBI.
McGovern is among the 40 collegiate players who are in contention for the award that goes to the nation’s top amateur baseball player in the country.
Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 28 in Los Angeles.
The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will continue to maintain a rolling list of athletes, allowing players to play themselves into consideration for the award before announcing the semifinalists on May 21. The list of semifinalists will be sent to a voting body consisting of baseball media members, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 40 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of semifinalists. On June 6, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting for the winner will begin that same day. Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2018. Beginning with the semifinalist announcement and continuing through the finalist round voting deadline, fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player on GoldenSpikesAward.com.
“We are excited to announce the forty players on the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s Executive Director and CEO. “These athletes have proven themselves worthy of consideration for this prestigious award through the eyes of the advisory board and from the overwhelming fan support through our nomination process.”
Six former Bulldogs have been nominated for this prestigious honor including first-round picks GorJustdon Beckham and Joshua Fields in 2008 and second-round pick Rich Poythress in 2009. Beckham was a finalist for the award while Fields and Poythress were semifinalists. In 1987, not only was it a banner year for the Bulldogs as a team, but also for some individuals. Pitchers Cris Carpenter and Derek Lilliquist were tabbed as nominees for the award. At that time, it marked only the second time that two teammates were nominated in the same year. In 1990 former Bulldog pitcher Dave Fleming, who led Georgia to its first-ever national championship, was nominated.
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. Last year, Louisville’s Brendan McKay took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that include 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) and Buster Posey (2008).