Eight Pac-10 Baseball Players Named to 2011 Golden Spikes Award Watch List

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Eight Pac-10 baseball players have been named to the 2011 Golden Spikes Award Watch List, announced Thursday as the organization marked its first step toward identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country. ARIZONA STATE tied with Vanderbilt to lead all schools with three players, while UCLA had two. OREGON, STANFORD and USC each had one player named to the list. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, the Golden Spikes Award will be presented in 2011 for the 34th time.

Junior second baseman Zack MacPhee, sophomore infielder Deven Marrero and junior outfielder Johnny Ruetigger are the three Sun Devils on the watch list. MacPhee was the 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year and a unanimous first team All-American last season. Marrero earned first team Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball. Ruetigger hit .351 last year and was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection.

UCLA's tandem of junior right-handed pitchers, Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole, are the only returning pitchers in the Conference to earn All-Pac-10 honors the last two years. Bauer led the nation with 165 strikeouts last season and Cole was close behind with 153.

OREGON junior left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson, STANFORD sophomore shortstop Kenny Diekroeger and USC junior first baseman Ricky Oropesa were also named to the watch list. Anderson finished the 2010 season ranked fifth among Pac-10 pitchers with a 2.98 ERA. Diekroeger, last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, became only the sixth freshman in Cardinal history to lead the team in hitting. Oropesa earned Baseball America second team All-America honors in 2010.

Six Pac-10 players have won the Golden Spikes Award, with the two in the last decade being former WASHINGTON pitcher Tim Lincecum (2006) and former USC pitcher Mark Prior (2001).

The watch list features 50 of the nation's top amateur players, and it will be a "rolling" list to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the Golden Spikes Award, to be presented live on Monday, July 11, at the 2011 MLB All-Star FanFest in Phoenix, Ariz.

Following the release of a second, 60-player watch list to be named on Tuesday, May 3, USA Baseball officials will announce to the 30 semifinalists for the 2011 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 31.  The list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of select professional baseball personnel, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of nearly 200 voters in total.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2011.  Tuesday, May 31 marks the day when college baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player for the Golden Spikes Award on GoldenSpikesAward.com.  As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose five players from the list of 30 names.  On Tuesday, June 7, USA Baseball will announce the five finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.

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