UNM's Peterson Named Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist
May 28, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - For the second straight season University of New Mexico junior first baseman DJ Peterson has been named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award. He is one of 30 semifinalists for the award, which has been presented to the nation's top amateur baseball player for each of the last 35 years.
"DJ is the best hitter in the country," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "He's going to be a top draft pick this year and that's a big deal."
Peterson, who was named Mountain West Co-Player of the Year with teammate Mitch Garver for the second straight season in 2013, won the MW overall triple crown for the second year in a row. He is currently third in the nation in batting (.411) and home runs (18) and fifth in RBI (70). He is second nationally in both slugging (.823) and total bases (172), fourth in runs (68) and sixth in doubles (24). He has also drawn 46 walks this season, 16 of them intentional, as teams have constantly pitched around him.
There are 14 conferences represented for the semifinalists, but Peterson is the only player from the MW. He is also one of five players that were named GSA semifinalists in 2012, including Mark Appel (Stanford), who was a finalist for the award. Also included in that group are Kris Bryant (San Diego), Marco Gonzales (Gonzaga) and Nick Petree (Missouri State).
Peterson will go down as one of the all-time greats to wear the Cherry and Silver, as he ranks among the top five career leaders in numerous categories. His 77 doubles are second in school history and are only one behind the leader. He is third all-time at UNM in total bases (488), fourth in home runs (41) and slugging (.694), and fifth in RBI (196).
In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it will follow the same model again in 2013. After working closely with sports information directors and amateur baseball media across the country to determine watch lists and the top-performing athletes, a committee voted to determine the 30 semifinalists. A ballot featuring the names and accomplishments of the 30 semifinalists will now be sent to a group of more than 220 voters which will select the three finalists and eventual winner. Beginning today fans will also be able to vote on the 2013 GSA by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite amateur player.
Last season Peterson won the fan vote in a landslide. He received over 90,000 votes from fans, which was nearly three times as many as the next closest player.
On Friday, July 19, the three finalists for the award will be at the live presentation, which will air during The Rundown - at 2 p.m. ET - featuring interviews, video highlights and the announcement of the winner. The presentation will also be simulcast live onGoldenSpikesAward.com and USABaseball.com.