CHARLESTON, S.C. – Kansas State junior outfielder Jared King is one of 50 players nationally to be named to the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, USA Baseball announced Thursday. The award, sponsored by Major League Baseball, is presented annually to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
King is the third Wildcat to be in contention for the Golden Spikes Award in the last five seasons, joining starting pitcher A.J. Morris, a finalist in 2009, and outfielder Nick Martini, a member of the preseason watch list in 2011.
A preseason All-America pick by both Baseball America and Perfect Game, King is coming off a season in which he led the Big 12 with a .378 regular-season batting average while placing in the top 10 of the league in 10 categories, including top-five marks in slugging percentage (third; .577), total bases (third; 127), hits (fourth; 83) and on-base percentage (fifth; .453).
The Dublin, Ohio, product earned his second-straight Second Team All-Big 12 accolade in 2012 along with ABCA All-Midwest Region honors. King was also a Freshman All-American and member of the Big 12 All-Freshman team in 2011.
The only Big 12 position player on the 2013 Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list, King was joined by a trio of Big 12 pitchers in Jonathan Gray (Oklahoma), Dillon Overton (Oklahoma) and Cory Knebel (Texas).
The Golden Spikes Award will carry a rolling watch list to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live on the MLB Network for the third year in a row with a presentation scheduled during The Rundown on Friday, July 19.
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 first 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. On Tuesday, June 4, USA Baseball will announce the three finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
K-State opens the 2013 campaign at 11 a.m. (CT) Friday against High Point in The Citadel Memorial Challenge at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C. The Wildcats will take on The Citadel at 3 p.m., on Saturday, while they conclude play Sunday with a 9 a.m. tilt against George Mason.
All three games can be heard online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com. Sunday’s contest can also be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN.