USA Baseball released its 2012 preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday afternoon, and several players with some local ties made the cut. Kevin Gausman, a Denver-native and starting pitcher for the LSU Tigers, is one of the top players to watch this season. And three players who were drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2011 -- but didn't sign with the team -- also made the list: Preston Tucker of the University of Florida, Ross Stripling of Texas A&M University and Peter O'Brien of the University of Miami (FL).
The Golden Spikes award is given to the person judged to be the top amateur baseball player in the nation. This initial 50-man watch list will be expanded to 60 at midseason (May 1), and then they will begin to narrow down the candidates. The award will be presented to the winner between July 9 and July 13.