Reigning Big 12 Player of the Year Ross Kivett (K-State) along with TCU’s Kevin Cron and Brandon Finnegan and West Virginia’s Harrison Musgrave have been named to USA Baseball’s 60-man preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list.
The watch list features 60 of the nation’s top amateur players, and will be a "rolling" list until May 27 -- when the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists are announced -- ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the collegiate season.
Kivett returns for his senior season at K-State after helping lead the Wildcats to a Big 12 title and being named Big 12 Player of the Year in
2013. Kivett, who was drafted in the 10th round of the MLB Draft by his hometown team, the Cleveland Indians, is only the second player in Big 12 history to win the conference’s player of the year award in his junior season and return for his senior season. He has been honored with four preseason All-American nods entering the season, including three first team accolades.
Musgrave, the 2013 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, went 9-1 a year ago with a 2.17 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 95.1 innings pitched. The junior southpaw has five career complete games. Last season, in league-only contests, he recorded a 1.02 ERA in seven starts with three complete games, limiting batters to a .145 average.
Finnegan, a junior left-handed pitcher, earned second team honors on Baseball America’s preseason team along with third team recognition from the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. A member of the 2013 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, Finnegan started 16 games last season, posting a 3.18 ERA with 79.1 innings pitched.
Cron carries a .265 career batting average into his junior campaign. He has started 93 of 97 games played and was tabbed a 2014 preseason All-America selection by the NCBWA.
On April 10, USA Baseball will release its 50-man midseason watch list, shaped by USA Baseball staff and its committee of amateur baseball experts and media. On May 27, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow the amateur game closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 36 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. Tuesday, May 27, marks the day when amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list. On Tuesday, June 3, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.