Six Big 12 baseball players have been named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award’s 60-man Midseason Watch List, which is determined by USA Baseball officials and advisors. The award crowns the top amateur baseball player in the country.
Jared King (Kansas State), Jonathan Gray (Oklahoma), Matt Oberste (Oklahoma), Jason Hursh (Oklahoma State), Corey Knebel (Texas) and Trey Masek (Texas Tech) represent the Big 12. The "rolling" watch list includes 28 new players from the preseason list announced in February. Hursh, Oberste and Masek are three of 28 players added.
King and Oberste rank in the top 10 in the Big 12 in overall games. Oberste’s clip of .427 leads the league while King’s mark of .351 is ninth overall. The K-State junior is also third in the conference in RBI (40) and total bases (88) plus ranks second in slugging percentage (.571). Besides batting average, Oberste leads the Big 12 in hits (73), home runs (10), doubles (17), RBI (48), total bases (128), on-base percentage (.493) and slugging percentage (.749).
Gray is 8-1 on the season for the Sooners with a 1.10 ERA in 11 games started. He has totaled 98 strikeouts in 81.2 innings of work and is limiting batters to a .152 batting average. Hursh has posted a 4-3 mark in 11 games started with a 2.61 ERA. He has two complete games on the year. Masek, another starter, has a 3-1 record along with a 1.31 ERA in 55 innings pitched.
Knebel is 3-3 this season with a 2.68 ERA and eight saves. In 37 innings, he has allowed 11 runs and 24 hits with 14 walks and 46 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .185 against him.
USA Baseball officials will announce the 30 semifinalists for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 28. The list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2013. Tuesday, May 28, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of 30 names. On Tuesday, June 4, USA Baseball will announce the three finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
Past winners of the Golden Spikes Award from the Big 12 include Alex Gordon (Nebraska, 2005) and Jason Jennings (Baylor, 1999). The league has also had eight finalists.