Sale Named a Finalist for the 2010 Golden Spikes Award
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
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FORT MYERS, Fla. - USA Baseball announced that FGCU pitcher Chris Sale is one of the five finalists for the 2010 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA). This year will mark the 33rd consecutive year that the Golden Spikes Award has been presented to the nation's premier amateur baseball player.

“It is surprising to hear,” said Sale. “It is a great honor. I’m looking forward to going out to California and meeting with the other finalists and finding out who the winner is.”

Chris Duffy, IF/OF, Central Florida; Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami (Fla.); Bryce Harper, C/IF/OF, Southern Nevada; Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Mississippi; and Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast round out the five finalists.

Fans can continue to stay up to date on the award by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com, powered by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Web site features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries, and photographs and video highlights for 2010 finalists.

The 2010 GSA will be awarded live at 11:30 a.m. PT (2:30 p.m. ET) on July 13 at All-Star FanFest in Anaheim as part of a production by MLB and MLBAM. Award show footage will be streamed live on the Internet exclusively at GoldenSpikesAward.com and MLB.com. This will be the second year in a row that the live award presentation will be held immediately preceding MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig’s Town Hall Meeting at All-Star FanFest.

“Chris Duffy, Yasmani Grandal, Bryce Harper, Drew Pomeranz, and Chris Sale authored incredible seasons in 2010,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “We congratulate each of them personally, along with their coaching staffs, teammates and their schools’ baseball programs.”

Left-hander Chris Sale, who was selected 13th overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, finished his junior campaign with an 11-0 record, two saves and a 2.01 ERA in 17 appearances. He racked up a nation's-best 146 strikeouts with just 14 walks for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10.4-to-1 for the year. The Lakeland, Fla. native was named Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Year and a Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-American. Sale is the first Division I National Player of the Year and also the first Division I All-American in FGCU baseball program history. He is also the first FGCU player to be named a GSA finalist.

Sale became the Atlantic Sun's tenth first-round choice and also the highest choice for an Atlantic Sun student-athlete since Toronto selected Kennesaw State’s Chad Jenkins with the 20th pick in 2009 draft. The A-Sun’s highest pick was Joey Hamilton (Georgia Southern), who was drafted 8th overall by the San Diego Padres in 1991.

“Chris Sale is very deserving as a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award,” said FGCU coach Dave Tollett. “This is a tremendous honor for him, and he has been an outstanding representative of our program during his career.”

Chris Duffy put together possibly the finest season in Central Florida (UCF) and Conference USA (C-USA) history in 2010. One of 25 semifinalists for the NCBWA Dick Howser Award, Duffy was selected as a Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Second Team All-American. The Orlando, Fla. native was also voted onto the All-C-USA First Team, and he broke the UCF and C-USA single-season records with a .447 batting average and an .850 slugging percentage. Duffy also shattered the UCF school mark with 21 home runs and 81 RBIs. The senior joins Tim Barker (1985) as the only GSA finalists in UCF history.

Yasmani Grandal is having one of the most productive offensive seasons in school history for the storied Miami baseball program. The Miami native is hitting .412 with 14 homers, 56 RBIs, 54 runs scored and 55 walks in 59 games. Grandal was named 2010 ACC Player of the Year and a First Team Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All-American. He was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the MLB First-Year Player Draft with the 12th overall pick. The junior becomes the 12th Miami alum to be named a GSA finalist and will attempt to become the school’s second GSA winner (Pat Burrell, 1998). Grandal is the lone finalist still playing, as the Hurricanes attempt to advance to a NCAA Super Regional Tuesday against Texas A&M.

The No. 1 overall selection by the Washington Nationals in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Bryce Harper exceeded all expectations during his freshman season at Southern Nevada (CSN), belting 31 home runs (CSN single-season record), with 98 RBIs and a .443 average. The Las Vegas native was named 2010 SWAC Player of the Year and First Team SWAC All-Conference. Harper joins Alex Fernandez (Miami Dade CC [JUCO], 1990), Michael Tucker (Longwood [Division II], 1992) and Alex Rodriguez (Westminster Christian High School [Fla.], 1993) as the only non-Division I players selected as GSA finalists in the last 20 years. To date, Fernandez remains the only junior college and non-Division I player to ever win the award.

Junior lefty Drew Pomeranz compiled a 9-2 record with 139 strikeouts for Ole Miss, putting him second on the school’s single-season list and first on the career strikeout list with 344. He logged a 2.24 ERA on the year, allowing only 25 earned runs in 100.2 innings of work and holding opponents to a .195 batting average against. His performance earned him a First Team All-America selection by Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, and he is a semifinalist for the NCBWA Dick Howser Award. The Collierville, Tenn. native was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the 5th overall pick in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Pomeranz becomes the second GSA finalist from Ole Miss, joining Stephen Head (2004).

In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it is following the same model again in 2010. After accepting nominations for the GSA from sports information directors across the country, a committee narrowed down the list to 30 semifinalists. The names of the semifinalists were then forwarded to a voting body of nearly 200 members, and they each selected five finalists. The five players with the most votes are recognized as finalists, and the voting body will now determine the eventual 2010 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award winner.

Beginning Tuesday, fans will also be able to vote on the 2010 GSA by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite finalist. Voting for fans and the voting body ends at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, June 18.

About the Golden Spikes Award
Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2009 Golden Spikes Award winner was Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as David Price (’07), Tim Lincecum (’06), Alex Gordon (’05), Jered Weaver (’04), Rickie Weeks (’03), Khalil Greene (’02), Jason Jennings (’00), Pat Burrell (‘98), J.D. Drew (’97), Mark Kotsay (’95), and Jason Varitek (’94). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim W allach (’79), and Bob Horner (’78). For more information, please visit www.GoldenSpikesAward.com.

About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic Team and World Cup Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to top player in college baseball. For more information, please visit www.USABaseball.com and www.GoldenSpikesAward.com.