Rutledge named Golden Spikes Semifinalist

05.15.2019 | By Amanda Fenwick

DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball named the 25 semifinalists for its Golden Spikes Award on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Among the semifinalists are San Jacinto College sophomore pitcher Jackson Rutledge.

Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 42nd Golden Spikes Award winner will be announced on June 14 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

“This is a tremendous honor for Jackson,” said San Jacinto College Baseball Head Coach Tom Arringtonarro. “He had a great season for us on the mound. I believe he was the number one JUCO pitcher in the country, and he is very deserving of this national recognition.”

Jackson RutledgeRutledge (St. Louis, Missouri / Rockwood Summit HS / University of Arkansas) was a unanimous overall #1 pick for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIV all-region team. He recorded one of the best seasons on record at San Jacinto College. His 0.88 ERA led the nation. He went 10-1 for San Jac, with four complete games over 82.2 innings pitched. He was second in strikeouts across the country with 134 (14.6 per game). Rutledge is the first Golden Spikes Award semifinalist from San Jacinto College.

The list of semifinalists spans 20 different colleges and universities, one high school and nine NCAA conferences.  The list also features three athletes who were also a semifinalist in 2018 with Josh Jung (Texas Tech), Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) and 2018 Golden Spikes Award winner Andrew Vaughn (California). Since 2007, 29 athletes have been named a semifinalist more than once in their careers, including past Golden Spikes Award winners Stephen Strasburg (2009), Trevor Bauer (2011), Mike Zunino (2012), Kris Bryant (2013), Brendan McKay (2017) and Vaughn (2018).

“The twenty-five student-athletes honored as Golden Spikes Award semifinalists this year highlight the depth of elite amateur baseball talent in the United States,” said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. “Each and every one of these athletes have excelled on the field this season and we are honored to continue our partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation to recognize their contributions to their teams and schools.”

Joining Sun Devils teammate Torkelson as a 2019 semifinalist is Hunter Bishop (IF; Arizona State), meanwhile Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt join Arizona State as the only schools with multiple semifinalists with the selections of Jake Mangum (Mississippi State), Ethan Small (Mississippi State), John Doxakis (Texas A&M), Asa Lacy (Texas A&M), JJ Bleday (Vanderbilt) and Austin Martin (Vanderbilt), respectively.

Jackson Rutledge (San Jacinto College) and Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville-Heritage High School) have also been named a Golden Spikes Semifinalists in 2019. Since USA Baseball introduced semifinalists to the voting process in 2007, Rutledge is the fourth semifinalist from the junior college ranks while Witt is the first-ever high school student athlete to earn this honor. To this date, Alex Fernandez (1990) and Bryce Harper (2010) are the only non-NCAA Division I athletes to win the Golden Spikes Award.

Jackson RutledgeLast year, Cal’s Vaughn took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that include Brendan McKay (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).

Beginning with the announcement of semifinalists, a ballot will be sent to the Golden Spikes Award voting body consisting of national baseball media, select professional baseball personnel, previous Golden Spikes Award winners and select USA Baseball staff, totaling a group of over 200 voters. From Wednesday, May 15 through Sunday, May 26, each voting member will select three athletes from the Golden Spikes Award ballot of semifinalists and fan voting will simultaneously be open on GoldenSpikesAward.com. Selections made by the voting body will carry a 95 percent weight of each athlete’s total, while fan votes will account for the remaining 5 percent.

The finalists will then be announced on Wednesday, May 29. Beginning that same day through Monday, June 10, the voting body and fans will be able to cast their final vote for the Golden Spikes Award winner.

The winner of the 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be named on Friday, June 14.

USA Baseball has partnered with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation to host the Golden Spikes Award since 2013. The Foundation was formed to honor legendary University of Southern California and USA Baseball Olympic team coach, Rod Dedeaux, and supports youth baseball and softball programs in underserved communities throughout Southern California.

A complete list of the 25 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists is as follows:

Name, Class, Position, School, Conference

Hunter Bishop, Jr., OF, Arizona St., Pac-12

JJ Bleday, Jr., OF, Vanderbilt, SEC

Isaiah Campbell, RS-Jr., P, Arkansas, SEC

Reid Detmers, So., P, Louisville, ACC

John Doxakis, Jr., P, Texas A&M, SEC

Ryan Garcia, Jr., P, UCLA, Pac-12

Nick Gonzales, So., IF, New Mexico St., WAC

Emerson Hancock, So., P, Georgia, SEC

Kody Hoese, Jr., IF, Tulane, AAC

Josh Jung, Jr., IF, Texas Tech, Big 12

George Kirby, Jr., P, Elon, CAA

Asa Lacy, So., P, Texas A&M, SEC

Jake Mangum, Sr., OF, Mississippi St., SEC

Alek Manoah, Jr., P, West Virginia, Big 12

Austin Martin, So., IF, Vanderbilt, SEC

Jackson Rutledge, So., P, San Jacinto, Region XIV

Adley Rutschman, Jr., C, Oregon St., Pac-12

T.J. Sikkema, Jr., P, Missouri, SEC

Ethan Small, RS-Jr., P, Mississippi St., SEC

Noah Song, Sr., P, Navy, Patriot

Bryson Stott, Jr., IF, UNLV, MWC

Zack Thompson, Jr., P, Kentucky, SEC

Spencer Torkelson, So., IF, Arizona St., Pac-12

Andrew Vaughn, Jr., IF, California, Pac-12

Bobby Witt Jr., HS-Sr., IF, Colleyville-Heritage High School

About Golden Spikes Award

Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first-ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2018 Golden Spikes Award winner was Andrew Vaughn from the University of California Berkeley. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Andrew Benintendi (’15), Kris Bryant (’13), Mike Zunino (’12), Trevor Bauer (’11), Bryce Harper (’10), Stephen Strasburg ('09), Buster Posey ('08), David Price (’07) and Alex Gordon (’05). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Tim Lincecum (’06), Pat Burrell (’98), Mark Kotsay (’95), Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79), and Horner (’78).  For more information, please visit GoldenSpikesAward.com.  Fans can follow the Golden Spikes Award on Twitter @USAGoldenSpikes.

About Rod Dedeaux Foundation

The Rod Dedeaux Foundation was formed to continue Rod’s spirit by supporting youth baseball and softball programs in underserved areas. Currently, inner city organizations are fighting for survival as public funding is drying up, coupled with the game’s waning popularity with children in Urban areas.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers eight areas of study that puts students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit sanjac.edu or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.