With the college baseball season only one day away, USA Baseball announced its 2011 preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The award is given to the top amateur baseball player annually. Fifty players made the first watch list, but another one in May will follow.
TCU left-handed pitcher Matt Purke and outfielder Jason Coats both appear on the list. Utah catcher and first baseman C.J. Cron is the only other Mountain West player to appear on the preseason list. Purke was the MWC Rookie of the Year in 2010 and first-team all-conference (as was Coats). Cron was the league's player of the year and first-team all-conference at the DH/utility spot.
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is the only player to have won the Golden Spikes Award, taking it in 2009. Strasburg pitched for the San Diego State Aztecs, finishing the 2009 season with a 13-1 record, a 1.32 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 105 innings. He struck out 17 Air Force Falcons in a no-hitter that season.