Tuesday May 29, 2012UF's Mike Zunino Named Semifinalist For Golden Spikes Award
University of Florida junior catcher Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) was named as one of 30 semifinalists for the 2012 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA) on Tuesday for the second year in a row. This marks the 35th consecutive year that the award has been presented to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
A semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award and the Dick Howser Trophy who was the 2011 SEC Player of the Year and a 2012 first-team All-SEC selection, Zunino leads the Gators in batting average (.323), total bases (146), RBI (55), doubles (27), sacrifice flies (8) and slugging percentage (.664). A two-time first-team All-SEC recipient and two-time member of the league’s All-Defensive Team, he has registered a .993 fielding percentage, with three errors in 452 chances, and has thrown out almost a third of the runners who have attempted to steal on him.
GoldenSpikesAward.com -- powered by MLB.com -- will once again be the online home for the award. The Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for the 2012 semifinalists. Fans can follow online at GoldenSpikesAward.com as the list of 30 players is narrowed to three finalists on Tuesday, June 5.
For the second year in a row, the GSA will be awarded live on MLB Network. On Friday, July 6, the three finalists for the award will be at MLB Network’s studios for the presentation on The Rundown, which will feature interviews, video highlights and the announcement of the winner. The presentation will also be simulcast live on GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com.
Michael Roth (South Carolina) and Zunino were semifinalists for the 2011 GSA and return to the list for 2012. Texas A&M tops all schools with three semifinalists, Florida State and LSU each have two, and in total 26 colleges and universities are represented on the list. Among conferences, the SEC leads with six players, while the ACC and Big 12 have five and the Pac-12 has four. Juniors are tops with 16 semifinalists and they are joined by five sophomores and eight seniors. Carlos Rodon (North Carolina State) is the only freshman on the list.
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 2012. 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 215 voters which will select the three finalists and eventual winner. Beginning today, fans will also be able to vote on the 2012 GSA by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite amateur player.
“USA Baseball congratulates each of the 30 student-athletes and their respective baseball programs," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “The move to MLB Network last year was a significant step toward increasing exposure for the award among players, schools and fans, and we look forward to building on that excitement for 2012. We wish all of the semifinalists the best of luck.”
Important 2012 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:
A complete list of the 30 2012 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists is as follows:
Name, Position, Class, School, Conference
Mark Appel, RHP, Junior, Stanford, Pac-12
Sean Bignall, OF, Senior, Arkansas-Little Rock, Sun Belt
Jayce Boyd, IF, Junior, Florida State, ACC
Kris Bryant, IF, Sophomore, San Diego, WCC
Kevin Gausman, RHP, Sophomore, LSU, SEC
Jeff Gelalich, OF, Junior, UCLA, Pac-12
Marco Gonzales, LHP/IF, Sophomore, Gonzaga, WCC
Andrew Heaney, LHP, Junior, Oklahoma State, Big 12
Kurt Heyer, RHP, Junior, Arizona, Pac-12
Goose Kallunki, IF, Senior, Utah Valley, Great West
Daniel Kassouf, IF, Senior, Appalachian State, SoCon
Alex Keudell, RHP, Senior, Oregon, Pac-12
Trenton Moses, IF, RS-Junior, Southeast Missouri, Ohio Valley
Tyler Naquin, OF, Junior, Texas A&M, Big 12
D.J. Peterson, IF, Sophomore, New Mexico, Mountain West
Nick Petree, RHP, RS-Sophomore, Missouri State, Missouri Valley
Kevin Plawecki, C, Junior, Purdue, Big Ten
Danny Poma, OF, Senior, Hofstra, CAA
James Ramsey, OF, Senior, Florida State, ACC
Raph Rhymes, OF, Junior, LSU, SEC
Carlos Rodon, LHP, Freshman, North Carolina State, ACC
Michael Roth, LHP, Senior, South Carolina, SEC
Richie Shaffer, IF, Junior, Clemson, ACC
Chris Stratton, RHP, Junior, Mississippi State, SEC
Ross Stripling, RHP, Senior, Texas A&M, Big 12
Marcus Stroman, RHP, Junior, Duke, ACC
Josh Turley, LHP, Junior, Baylor, Big 12
Michael Wacha, RHP, Junior, Texas A&M, Big 12
Alex Yarbrough, IF, Junior, Ole Miss, SEC
Mike Zunino, C, Junior, FLORIDA, SEC
No. 1 Florida (42-18) opens the 2012 NCAA Tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. by hosting fourth-seeded Bethune-Cookman (34-25) in the second game of the double-elimination Gainesville Regional to be held at McKethan Stadium. Second-seeded Georgia Tech (36-24) meets third-seeded College of Charleston (37-20) at 1 p.m.