King, the only Big 12 position player on the list, is the third Wildcat to be in contention for the Award in the last five seasons. A preseason All-America pick by Baseball America, King is coming off a season in which he led the Big 12 with a .378 regular-season batting average while placing in the top 10 of the league in 10 categories, including top-five marks in slugging percentage (third, .577), total bases (third, 127), hits (fourth, 83) and on-base percentage (fifth, .453).
Overton earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors in 2012 after ranking second in the Big 12 in both strikeouts (126) and innings pitched (122.2). He went 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA over 22 appearances, including 16 starts. The Weatherford, Okla., native owns a career record of 14-7 and a career ERA of 2.83, fanning 185 over 45 appearances and 197.0 innings pitched.
Gray went 8-4 with a 3.16 ERA and 104 strikeouts over 18 starts and 102.2 innings pitched in his first season with the Sooners after transferring to Oklahoma from Eastern Oklahoma State. A native of Chandler, Okla., Gray's eight pitching victories tied for sixth-most in the Big 12.
Knebel, who was also named to the preseason Watch List in 2012, owns a 1.67 career ERA entering the season, which ranks third on the Big 12 career charts. The junior's 28 saves is tied for seventh, which is 13 away from the No. 1 spot held by former UT closer Huston Street. The Longhorn posted a 4-5 record, a 2.08 ERA and nine saves in 74 innings last season. A two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection, Knebel was the Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year in 2011.
The Big 12 has claimed two Golden Spikes Award winners (Alex Gordon, Nebraska, 2005 & Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999) along with eight finalists all-time. Texas' Taylor Jungmann is the most recent finalist from the league (2011).
The Golden Spikes Award will carry a rolling watch list to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live on the MLB Network for the third year in a row with a presentation scheduled during The Rundown on Friday, July 19.
Following the release of a second, 60-player watch list on Thursday, May 2, 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 the 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 first 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. On Tuesday, June 4, USA Baseball will announce the three finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.