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 each year to the player who best exhibits exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The Rod Dedeaux Foundation partnered with USA Baseball to host the award night dinner honoring the winner and finalists.
2015 GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WINNER
Benintendi is the first player from Arkansas to win the Golden Spikes Award. The Cincinnati native led the Razorback's offense all season long providing power at the plate and speed on the base paths. Benintendi finished his breakout season hitting .376 and ranked third in the nation in slugging percentage (.717). He currently leads the country in home runs and is the only college baseball player to record 20 home runs and 20-plus stolen bases this year. In the clean-up spot, he generated 85 hits, 57 RBIs and places third in total bases (162) among college baseball's best.
Benintendi is the seventh outfielder in Golden Spikes Award history to win the award, and the first since J.D. Drew in 1997. The first outfielder to earn the honors was baseball legend, Terry Francona in 1980.
2014 GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WINNER
Reed is the first Golden Spikes Award winner in Kentucky's history and was a consensus first-team All-American in 2014. He was also honored with a number of other collegiate baseball awards, including being named the Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, the ABCA National Player of the Year, the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year, Baseball America's 2014 Player of the Year and the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year for his junior season.
Reed is just the third two-way player to be named the Golden Spikes Award winner in its history, and the first two-way player to take home the award since Baylor's Jason Jennings received the honor in 1999. The first two-way player to win the GSA was Mark Kotsay in 1995, who excelled as both an outfielder and closer for Cal State Fullerton.
From the mound, Reed compiled a 12-2 record and a 2.09 ERA in 112.0 innings as the Friday starter for Kentucky. He also held opposing batters to a .236 batting average and struck out 71. While he allowed just four home runs as a pitcher in 2014, at the plate he led the nation with 23 long balls, making him the first player in the SEC to hit 20+ home runs in the BBCOR era. His .735 slugging percentage was also good for first in the country, and he ranked third in total bases with 164.
2013 Golden Spikes Award Winner
Bryant is the first Golden Spikes Award winner and the highest draft pick in San Diego's history. The Las Vegas native was a consensus first-team All-American, the first Dick Howser Trophy recipient from San Diego and Baseball America's 2013 College Player of the Year. Bryant crushed a nation's best 31 home runs, a record in the BBCOR bat era of college baseball. Bryant also led the nation in runs (80), bases on balls (66), total bases (187) and slugging percentage (.820).
Bryant becomes the first infielder to win the Golden Spikes Award since Nebraska's Alex Gordon won the award in 2005. Bryant is also the first player from the West Coast Conference to win the award.