Three MW Student-Athletes Named to 2013 Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List

Feb. 14, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Three Mountain West baseball student-athletes were named to the 2013 Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List announced today by USA Baseball. New Mexico teammates and 2012 MW Co-Players of the Year Mitchell Garver and DJ Peterson and MW newcomer Aaron Judge of Fresno State were among the 50 players from across that nation on the initial posting. The Golden Spikes Award, sponsored by Major League Baseball, recognizes the top amateur baseball player in the country.

Peterson, a junior third baseman, ranked among the top 10 nationally with a .419 batting average (5th), 17 home runs (10th) and 78 RBIs (2nd) in 2012, leading the Mountain West in all three categories to win the league's triple crown. The Gilbert, Ariz., native also topped the MW and was among the NCAA's top 10 in hits (104/3rd) and slugging (.734/2nd) and on-base (.490/7th) percentage. In addition to earning Louisville Slugger and NCBWA First Team All-American accolades, Peterson was also a semifinalist for both the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award in 2012.

Garver, a senior catcher, led the league and ranked among the top 10 nationally in doubles (27/4th) and runs scored (68/9th) last season. The Albuquerque, N.M., product also ranked second in the Conference in both hitting (.377) and slugging percentage (.612), hits (101/6th nationally) and RBI (57), and fourth in on-base percentage (.438). Garver, a 2012 Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Third-Team All-American honoree, was also one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, awarded to the top collegiate catcher. Garver and Peterson led the Lobos to their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2012.

Judge won the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Baseball Home Run Derby on July 3, the only player from the western half of the country invited to the event. The native of Linden, Calif., is a junior outfielder for the Bulldogs. He led FS to a conference tournament title and NCAA Regional appearance in 2012 behind a .308 batting average on 62 hits. Judge finished the season ranked 19th nationally in walks with 48. He also had 47 runs scored, 14 doubles, two triples, four homeruns and 27 RBI.

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 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.

The Watch List will be a "rolling" list to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the Golden Spikes Award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live on MLB Network for the third year in a row, with a live presentation scheduled during The Rundown on Friday, July 19. Through USA Baseball's partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the presentation will also be simulcast with a live stream available from GoldenSpikesAward.com and USABaseball.com.