University of Georgia pitchers Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox are on the preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, USA Baseball announced recently.
Hancock, a 6-4, 213-pound native of Cairo, Ga., was a semifinalist for this award in 2019 that goes to the top amateur baseball player in the country. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing student-athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.
Along with Hancock, there are five additional 2019 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists including Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State), Reid Detmers (Louisville), Nick Gonzalez (New Mexico State), Asa Lacy (Texas A&M) and Austin Martin (Vanderbilt). This is the latest preseason honor for Wilcox, a 6-5, 232-pound native of Chickamauga, Ga. Hancock and Wilcox are preseason All-Americans and projected to go in the first round of Major League Baseball’s draft in June. Fourth-ranked Georgia opens the 2020 season Friday at Foley Field. Hancock will pitch game one while Wilcox is slated to go on Saturday as the Bulldogs play host to Richmond.
“We are thrilled to kick off the 2020 amateur baseball season and the forty-third year of the Golden Spikes Award with the fifty-five-player preseason watch list,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. “This year’s initial list features an incredible amount of talent and we cannot wait to follow each player’s journey throughout what is sure to be a highly competitive and exciting season.”
Eighteen different collegiate athletic conferences are represented on the 2020 preseason watch list with six of those conferences boasting multiple selections, including the American Athletic, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences. Georgia is one of 10 schools with a pair of student-athletes on the watch list.
Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman took home the prestigious award last year, joining a group of recent winners that include Andrew 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) and David Price (2007).
Fan nominations and voting will once again play a part in the Golden Spikes Award in 2020. Amateur baseball fans will be able to nominate their favorite players to be in consideration for the 2020 award starting February 14 until April 6 on GoldenSpikesAward.com, prior to the announcement of the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list. In addition, fans will once again be able to vote for their favorite players, starting on May 14 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists.
USA Baseball will announce the finalists for the award on May 28 and fan voting will open at GoldenSpikesAward.com concurrently, remaining open through June 7. The winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be named Thursday, June 11.