Two High School Prospects On Golden Spikes Watch List



By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

USA Baseball unveiled 55 players on the Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List Wednesday, starting the process for identifying the country’s top amateur baseball player in 2017. This year marks the 40th edition of the award and it will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 29 in Los Angeles.

While winners of the Golden Spikes Award have primarily been Division I athletes, it represents all of amateur baseball and the preseason watch list has two high school prospects in RHP/SS Hunter Greene (Notre Dame HS, CA) and SS/OF Royce Lewis (JSerra HS, CA). They rank as Nos. 1 and 2 respectively in the PBR Draft 100 and are expected to be top picks in the draft.

A UCLA recruit, Greene is a good defender and has power at the plate, but he gets most attention on the mound, where he has already touched triple digits in preseason scrimmages. He combines his electric heat with a wipeout slider and shows good feel for a changeup. There isn’t much of a gap between Greene and Lewis, a UC Irvine recruit. Lewis also has tremendous power and twitchy athleticism between the lines. He has spent a lot of time in center field, but will man shortstop for JSerra this year.

The 2016 preseason list had RHP Riley Pint (St. Thomas Aquinas HS, KS) and LHP Jason Groome (Barnegat HS, NJ), both of whom were drafted in the first round. Pint went fourth overall to the Rockies and Groome went 12th to the Red Sox. In 2015, SS Brendan Rodgers (Lake Mary HS, FL) was the lone high school selection in the preseason. He was taken third overall by the Rockies and spent 2016 in low Class A.

LHP Brendon Little (State JC of Florida) is the lone junior college player on the list. He spent his freshman season at North Carolina before transferring in the fall. He ranked as Pennsylvania’s No. 2 prospect as a high school senior at Conestoga HS.

The preseason list is littered with former top high school prospects now starring in college including LHP/1B Brendan McKay (Louisville), RHP Alex Lange (Louisiana State) and OF Jeren Kendall (Vanderbilt). McKay and Kendall were ranked No. 1 as seniors in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin respectively while Lange was No. 3 in Missouri.

The full list can be seen below.

Riley Adams, C, Jr., San Diego
Luken Baker, RHP/IF, So., Texas Christian
Elliott Barzilli, IF, Sr., Texas Christian
Tristan Beck, RHP, So., Stanford
Andrew Beckwith, RHP, Sr., Coastal Carolina
Seth Beer, OF, So., Clemson
Quinn Brodey, OF, Jr., Stanford
J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, Jr., North Carolina
Jake Burger, IF, Jr., Missouri State
Dylan Busby, IF, Jr., Florida State
Griffin Canning, RHP, Jr., UCLA
Carl Chester, OF, Jr., Miami
Wil Crowe, RHP, Jr., South Carolina
Joe Davis, C/IF, So., Houston
Joe Dunand, IF, Jr., North Carolina State
Colton Eastman, RHP, So., Cal State Fullerton
Alex Faedo, RHP, Jr., Florida
Stuart Fairchild, OF, Jr., Wake Forest
Nick Feight, C, Jr., UNC Wilmington
Michael Gigliotti, OF, Jr., Lipscomb
Luis Gonzalez, LHP/OF, Jr., New Mexico
Hunter Greene, RHP/IF, HS-Sr., Notre Dame HS, CA
Dalton Guthrie, IF, Jr., Florida
K.J. Harrison, IF, Jr., Oregon State
Adam Haseley, UT, Jr., Virginia
Keston Hiura, OF, Jr., UC Irvine
Colton Hock, RHP, Jr., Stanford
Tanner Houck, RHP, Jr., Missouri
Kel Johnson, OF, Jr., Georgia Tech
Jeren Kendall, OF, Jr., Vanderbilt
Zach Kirtley, IF, Jr., Saint Mary’s
Alex Lange, RHP, Jr., Louisiana State
Royce Lewis, IF/OF, HS-Sr., JSerra Catholic HS, CA
Brendon Little, LHP, So., State JC of Florida
Nick Madrigal, IF, So., Oregon State
Jake Mangum, OF, So., Mississippi State
Corbin Martin, RHP, Jr., Texas A&M
Brendan McKay, LHP/IF, Jr., Louisville
Brian Miller, OF, Jr., North Carolina
Brian Mims, IF, Jr., UNC Wilmington
Glenn Otto, P, Jr., Rice
Kramer Robertson, IF, Sr., Louisiana State
Seth Romero, LHP, Jr., Houston
Jayson Rose, RHP, Jr., Utah
Clarke Schmidt, RHP, Jr., South Carolina
J.J. Schwarz, C, Jr., Florida
Colton Shaver, C/IF, Jr., Brigham Young
Evan Skoug, C, Jr., Texas Christian
Kevin Smith, IF, Jr., Maryland
Pavin Smith, IF/OF, Jr., Virginia
Peter Solomon, RHP, Jr., Notre Dame
Trey Truitt, OF, Jr., Mercer
Taylor Walls, IF, Jr., Florida State
Evan White, IF, Jr., Kentucky
Kyle Wright, RHP, Jr., Vanderbilt

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