LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior first baseman Evan White was named to the 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List, it was announced Wednesday.
This award honors the top amateur baseball player in the nation for their performance on the field. The preseason watch list features 55 of the nation’s most elite players in 16 different collegiate athletic conferences. The Southeastern Conference placed 13 individuals on the watch list, which tied for the most with the Atlantic Coast Conference. Former Wildcat A.J. Reed claimed the award in 2014 and joined the likes of Major League Baseball stars Kris Bryant, Trevor Bauer, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, and David Price, who also won the award.
White, from Gahanna, Ohio, was voted to the Coaches’ Preseason All-Southeastern Conference Team just last week. He also has received preseason honors from Collegiate Baseball, D1 Baseball, PerfectGame.org and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association coming off a stellar 2016 season where he earned Second Team All-SEC honors. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder’s defensive prowess earned him a Rawlings Gold Glove in 2016 and All-SEC Defensive Team honors for the second consecutive season. As a freshman in 2015, White earned Freshman All-SEC honors.
In 2016, he led the team in average (.376), at bats (226), hits (85), runs (44), doubles (15), triples (3), runs batted in (40), total bases (121) and stolen bases (10). White’s career .348 batting average ranks No. 7 on UK’s all-time list (min. 300 at bats). White’s .376 batting average in 2016 ranks him tied with Terry Shumpert (1987) for the 11th highest single-season mark in school history and his 85 hits rank him 11th on the single-season hits list.
White spent the summer playing for the United States Collegiate National Team, which traveled to Cuba, Japan and Taiwan. White was the team’s primary first baseman, starting 15 of 19 games and hitting .250 with eight runs scored.
Fans can nominate their favorite players for the Golden Spikes Award prior to the unveiling of the Midseason Watch List on April 12. The voting window reaches from March 27 – April 2 at GoldenSpikesAward.com. Finalists for the prestigious honor will be announced on June 14 and the winner crowned on Thursday, June 29.
The Wildcats open the 2017 season on Feb. 17 at North Carolina.
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Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics