Jeff Clement Named As Finalist For 2005 Golden Spikes Award

May 26, 2005

LOS ANGELES - Junior catcher Jeff Clement (Marshalltown, Iowa/Marshalltown HS) has been named as one of five finalists for the 2005 Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top amateur baseball player in partnership by USA Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Clement joins a group that includes Miami third baseman Ryan Braun, Arizona outfielder Trevor Crowe, Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon and Tennessee right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar.

After being named yesterday as a 2005 USA Today Sports Weekly First Team All-American, Clement is the seventh USC player to be selected as a Golden Spikes finalist. Former Trojan and current Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior earned the GSA in 2001.

Baseball America has slated Clement to be selected in the middle of the first round in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft, held next month.

This season, Clement leads USC in several offensive categories including batting average (.351), hits (67), doubles (17), home runs (11), RBI (44), walks (41) and on-base percentage (.482). He has only three errors on the season (.993 fielding percentage) and has thrown out 22 of 54 runners (42%), including one pickoff at second base.

USC is 35-18 on the season, third place in the Pac-10 Conference with a 13-8 mark. The Trojans are currently ranked 21st in the nation according to ESPN/USA Today Sports Weekly and 24th by Baseball America.

Currently, Clement is fourth on USC's all-time list with 42 career home runs behind Mark McGwire (54), Geoff Jenkins (45) and Eric Munson (43).

Last summer, Clement made his second straight appearance for the U.S. National Team, batting .275 (19-for-69) with three home runs and 15 RBI. His team won the gold medal at the FISU II World University Baseball Championships in Taiwan, helping Team USA to the championship after hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth in a 5-2 win over Chinese Taipei.

Clement was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in his 2002 season after batting .298 with 21 home runs and 53 RBI, as well as being named Collegiate Baseball Freshman National Co-Player of the Year and Baseball America Freshman All-America first team.

He finished his high school career in 2002 with 75 home runs, setting a national high school record. He led Marshalltown to the 2002 4-A state championship.

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