Garver, Peterson Named to Golden Spikes Award Watch List

Feb. 14, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico baseball team is set to open its season Friday night at home against Oklahoma State, but not before two of its star players receive more preseason honors. USA Baseball released its watch list for the Golden Spikes Award Thursday, and junior third baseman DJ Peterson and senior catcher Mitch Garver were both on it.

“It’s awesome,” head coach Ray Birmingham said. “It’s an honor for these two young men and it shows where this program is headed.”

UNM was one of only 12 schools to have multiple players on the 50-man list. The award, which has been given annually to the best amateur baseball player in the country for the past 35 years, will be awarded live on the MLB Network for the third year in a row, with a live presentation scheduled during The Rundown on Friday, July 19.

Peterson was one of 30 semifinalists for the award last season and led the fan voting with nearly three times as many votes as any other player after winning the Mountain West triple crown (.419, 17 home runs, 78 RBI). Garver was one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the top collegiate catcher in the country, after leading all Division I catchers in batting (.377), hits (101), runs (68), and total bases (164).

Mitch Garver was one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award in 2012 and has been named to three Preseason All-America teams this year.

The two were named Co-Mountain West Players of the Year last season and were named Preseason First Team All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Collegiate Baseball, and PerfectGame.org. Peterson was also named to Baseball America’s second team.

The watch list features 50 of the nation's top amateur players, and it will be a "rolling" list to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the Golden Spikes Award.  

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 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.